Process and Product Review Testing

University of Maine Process and Product Review Testing Services

(Scheduled Process Review)

We offer a team approach to provide food testing services and specialize in working with small and start-up food businesses. While our primary mission is to support Maine and New Hampshire food businesses, we also work with businesses across the U.S. and are recognized process authorities by the FDA.

  • Kathy Dentici, Research Assistant and Laboratory Manager.  Kathy conducts and supervises the food testing.
  • Dr. Beth Calder and Dr. Jason Bolton, process authorities and primary contacts for questions regarding testing, test results and process and product reviews.  Beth and Jason review the test results, formulations, and processing methods submitted and also write the review letters.

We typically conduct process and product reviews on shelf-stable, canned foods, fermented foods and water-activity controlled dessert sauces.  We do not conduct process reviews on perishable (frozen or refrigerated foods) or meat and poultry products.

Confidentiality note: Submitted recipes are kept strictly confidential. However, test
results and review letters will be shared with regulatory agencies as part of the product
review process.

Current test prices:

In-state: Out-of-State:
Test: Pricing Test: Pricing
pH $15.00 pH $23.00
Water activity $15.00 Water activity $23.00
Brix $15.00 Brix $23.00
Titratable Acidity $15.00 Titratable Acidity $23.00
Microbial analysis $57.00 Microbial analysis $87.00
Water phase salt $32.00 Water phase salt $47.00

***Pickled (acidified foods) and most sauces/dressings will need both pH and water activity tests.

***Jams and jellies will need pH, water activity and brix testing.

***Dessert sauces (caramel and chocolate) will need brix and water activity testing.

***Fermented foods will need pH and titratable acidity testing.

Food samples that do not typically require a review in Maine are baked goods (without dairy-based fillings/frostings), candy/confections, plain, berry-based jams/jellies and dry mixes.

Our turnaround time is typically 5-6 weeks, but can be delayed due to holidays, our schedules or can be impacted by the volume of products sent to us for testing.  We provide these services on a part-time basis around our research, outreach and teaching schedules.  We appreciate your patience.  Our laboratory observes federal holidays and will be closed on those days. The laboratory is also closed the last two weeks in December for inventory purposes and will reopen typically on January 2.

Questions about testing?

If you have any questions whether you should send in a product for a review, which tests are required for your product, or how to start a food business in Maine, please contact Beth Calder or Jason Bolton.

Beth Calder, Ph.D.
Extension Food Science Specialist
University of Maine
School of Food and Agriculture
5735 Hitchner Hall
Orono, Maine 04469-5735
207-581-2791 or email: beth.calder@maine.edu

Jason Bolton, Ph.D.
Extension Food Safety Specialist
University of Maine
Cooperative Extension
5735 Hitchner Hall
Orono, Maine 04469-5735
207-581-1366 or email: jason.bolton@maine.edu

What is required for the review process:

  • Please include your full name, company name, email, mailing address and phone
    number.
  • One container of each finished product in the container in which it will be
    sold.  For acidified foods (i.e. pickled foods, sauces, dressings), if you intend to sell your product in several different container sizes, please submit 1 sample of each container size.
  • REQUIRED: Recipe (with ingredients and amounts) converted onto a weight basis (including fluids) and all the same unit (grams, ounces or pounds).
  • Detailed process description of how each product is made including heating
    times and temperatures.
  • Please limit the number of samples to 10 per review.
  • Please be sure to place an identifying label on each product.
  • For ready to eat and minimally processed foods – you may need
    additional microbial testing.
  • Payment: For now, we require payment with a check or money order, but we will be transferring to a credit and/or debit card and paperwork submission process through a secure online database system in the near future.

If you prefer to deliver samples in person, please contact Kathy Dentici, Research Manager at dentici@maine.edu or 207-581-2946 to schedule a time to deliver products.  Please contact Kathy at least a week ahead of time due to her busy research schedule.

If mailing your product(s), please carefully pack containers (to prevent breakage during shipping) and mail to:

Kathy Dentici
University of Maine
School of Food and Agriculture
5735 Hitchner Hall, Room 201
Orono, Maine 04469-5735

 Other Resources:

Starting a new food business and need some guidance on how to get started? Please
visit this online fact sheet called Recipe to Market: http://umaine.edu/publications/3101e/.  Recipe to Market Workshops are also
available on how to start a food business, please contact Beth if you are interested in
attending a workshop.

Food safety workshops for Maine food industries:
http://extension.umaine.edu/food-health/food-safety/

 

Need microbiological or shelf-life testing, and/or nutrition facts labels?

Two laboratories in Maine provide these services:

Katahdin Analytical Services:  http://www.katahdinlab.com/

Northeast Laboratory Services: http://nelabservices.com/

Need to obtain a license to sell food products in Maine?

Food license applications can be accessed online through the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry, Quality Assurance and Regulations web site:
http://www.maine.gov/dacf/qar/permits_and_licenses/application_forms.shtml.

Regulatory or inspection questions?  Please visit this web site for contact information:
http://www.maine.gov/dacf/qar/index.shtml.