SCIENCE & RESEARCH

Turmeric on the label means turmeric in the product

Working together on quality control: Chee Ghee Seng, Senior Analyst in Singapore, and Carolin Denziol, Technologist in Holzminden.

SCIENCE & RESEARCH

Turmeric on the label means turmeric in the product

How quality inspectors in Holzminden and Singapore guarantee that raw materials are completely safe.

Anyone buying a product has to trust that it won’t harm their health. This is espe­cially true of food products. If they are contaminated or have adul­terated ingre­dients, the consequences can be very serious. “With state-of-the-art testing devices and inspection methods, we are able to guarantee the safety of our products and fulfill certification stan­dards,” says Gerd Lösing, Vice President Global Quality Control and Supervisory Board Member of Symrise. In addition to ubiquitous contamination by pesticides or mold, the fight against criminally motivated adulteration has been the focus of food safety for some years now.

This is because some base materials for the man­ufacture of flavors are so pre­cious and expensive that cheap replace­ment ingredients or thinners are used. This is unacceptable, but often doesn’t pose a direct health risk to the user. An example of this is cutting extra virgin olive oil with cheap­er sunflower oil. “But no customer wants to lose their market position over negative test results in consumer maga­zines or from NGOs,” Gerd points out. Therefore, raw materials are also subjected to a vulnerability analysis. “This is how we know which materials are particularly prone to adul­teration, and we can test proactively.” EXPERTS ENSURE QUALITY Symrise secures all supposed risks with a sophis­ticated risk assessment system and appropriately equipped test labora­tories. “All over the globe, we have the best-equipped labs for quality control in the industry,” Gerd says. “No other company can offer this level of com­plexity.”

Adulterated raw materials and any contaminated goods are not processed and are rejected outright by quality control. The team of over 300 quality managers, laboratory assistants, chemists, micro­biologists and technol­ogists specializing in the subject world­wide take care of this. There are micro­biologists who look exclusively for mi­cro­­biological risks or assess the micro­bio­logical quality of materials. There are experts who ex­clusively assess safety risks of food. Then, there are the labo­ratory assistants who work in quality control to measure the sodium content of a pro­tein extract, for example.

Fortunately, we haven’t discovered anything dan­ger­ous so far.
Carolin Denziol, Technologist

One of these experts is Carolin Denziol, a Tech­nologist in Holzminden. She works with LCMS Analytics, ultra-performance liquid chro­matog­raphy, with the help of a mass spectrometer. “It helps me deter­mine even the tiniest concen­trations,” says Carolin. This is how she routinely examines raw materials from suppliers. She either takes random samples or checks every charge. If there are irreg­u­larities, she sounds the alarm, like if the amount of acrylamide in coffee beans is too high. She also checks the quality of products that are made by Symrise. “Luckily, we haven’t discovered anything dangerous or of low quality so far,” says Carolin. If she were to find a component that didn’t belong in the product, it would be necessary to investigate where the intrusion came from. Meticulous documentation in pro­duction lays the groundwork for this.

SHORT REACTION TIMES If there are food safety warnings any­where in the world, the experts evaluate this information and take appropriate countermeasures if necessary. Thanks to its global network of quality con­trollers, Symrise can react quickly at a moment’s notice. “When a warning was issued at the begin­ning of this year about turmeric adulterated with lead chromate, we investigated it immediately, analyzed our raw materials and were able to rule out any danger,” reports Chee Ghee Seng, Senior Analyst in Singapore. He and a team of three other colleagues not only use existing analytical methods but also continue to develop them. “On average, we do 170 samples per month,” says Chee Ghee Seng. Since all results are recorded digitally, they are visible to colleagues in Singapore and Holzminden.

Additional measures for all testing and control activities ensure the safety of the raw materials. Whenever possible, they should come from the region of origin. “This makes the supply chain less com­plex, which is a great advantage – there will be fewer uncontrollable op­por­tunities for adulteration or con­tamina­tion,” stresses Gerd. Symrise has an excellent reputation for ensuring product safety, which is why customers are very happy to rely on Symrise and its expertise. Maintaining this high level is a joint task that can only be achieved as a team. Gerd closes saying, “Our customers can feel good about being on the safe side with Symrise.”


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