Food companies around the world are sending an increased amount of quality and safety testing to third-party contract testing laboratories, according to a new report from Strategic Consulting, Inc., a provider of market research to food safety diagnostics companies. Total revenues for food contract test labs are estimated to reach $3.05 billion in 2013, up from $1.95 billion just five years ago, at a compound annual growth rate of 9.4 percent worldwide.
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Contract testing labs offer a range of services to food producers. As Virginia Deibel, PhD, and Joseph D. Meyer from the microbiology unit of Covance Inc. wrote in recent article, “The specific roles for laboratories have changed and contract labs are now considered as collaborators in the manufacturer’s food safety system. Contract labs play a multitude of roles in the collaboration of quality and safe food production by serving as a multi-faceted verification tools and technical resources.”
Many food companies turn to contract labs for microbiology testing to detect food pathogens, and chemistry testing for nutritional analysis or contaminants, such as pesticides and toxins. Other popular services involve food safety program development, plant audits, and field assessments.
Based on market research that includes interviews with managers of food contract labs, Strategic Consulting’s “Food Contract Lab Report” tracks the revenues, test volumes, and services of outside testing labs. Information is broken down by geographic region (North America, Europe, Asia, and the rest of the world) and by business area—microbiology, chemistry, and services. It also examines the drivers behind the dramatic growth for food production facilities to send food samples outside for analysis.
“Food Contract Lab Report” provides market forecasts through 2018 and discusses the potential for even greater growth over the next five years, including the impact of the Food Safety Modernization Act, possible lab accreditation requirements for all food testing laboratories, and other factors.
To order the “Food Contract Lab Report,” click here.