Measuring the vitamin content of foods can be complicated. Smaller laboratories often avoid the effort and hire external labs for the analysis. But with the right tools, vitamin analysis can be done very easily and economically.
When foods are enriched with vitamins, manufacturers must check if the vitamin content labelled on the package is actually present in the product. This analysis is challenging as there is a variety of vitamins with different chemical properties, to be analyzed in various concentrations and matrices. Moreover, complex sample preparation is sometimes necessary. Microbiological assays, based on the growth of specific microorganisms, are the established method for vitamin determination. However, this method has some disadvantages as it is very cumbersome, requires a lot of experience and provides results at the earliest after one week. HPLC (high-performance liquid chromatography) is an alternative, however requires high investment in equipment. As a result, only a few laboratories perform this analysis themselves, but hire external laboratories – and opt for longer processing times.
There is, however, a way for laboratories to perform vitamin analysis easily and cost-effectively themselves: VitaFast®. In our video, Ronald Niemeijer explains how it works:
The VitaFast® principle
VitaFast® tests are microbiological tests in a convenient microtiter plate format. As with traditional microbiological methods, the test system is based on the growth of specific microorganisms, but the ready-to-use format makes VitaFast® tests easy to use and relatively quick with a time to result of 48 hours. Depending on the vitamin concentration in the sample, microorganisms multiply and the resulting turbidity level can be measured using a microplate photometer. In this way, numerous water-soluble vitamins can be determined easily, precisely and cost-effectively. The performance of VitaFast® assays has been tested and certified by the AOAC Research Institute.
Our infographic provides further information on vitamin analysis: