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Vegetables – delicious and good for you

There is a proverb that says, one is what one eats. It’s no wonder that more and more people want to know about the quality of the food that we eat on a daily basis. Companies like TÜV SÜD provide answers, thanks to a worldwide testing and inspection network

Ice cream with mixed berries: Tests by TÜV SÜD helps frozen food distributors to deliver healthy products.
Photo: Corbis

When Namrata Gupta grabs a strawberry yoghurt, she is usually not so interested in the taste or the creamy consistency. Instead of eating the dairy product by the spoonful, the 32-year-old goes all out to test it thoroughly. With alcohol, chloroform, benzene, ether, and dozens of other chemicals, Gupta breaks down the structure of the food item and takes a look at its content and precise composition. How much sugar does the sparkling orange soft drink really contain? Do the potato chips actually come from organic farms or can one still detect traces of pesticides? How fresh is the delicious salami with the nice matte red color?

Everyone has to eat and drink. We require about 100 kilojoules (about as much as contained in 20 grams of rice) at least every day per kilogram of body weight. This standard metabolic rate increases depending on our level of activity, such as whether one is engaged in hard work or sports, for example. In addition, our metabolism requires 1.5 liters of liquids per day to function normally.

In other words, food is life! And the desire to know what we are putting into our bodies is increasing globally. Analysts estimate that the total market for testing, certifying, and monitoring food, growing businesses, and supply chains is valued at more than EUR 3 billion. Whether they are in industrial countries or emerging and developing nations, producers, retailers, and consumers worldwide want to know exactly what is in their food.

The topic of safety, in other words the proper and hygienic quality of food and beverages, plays just as large a role as the issue of composition, or more specifically the precise content in terms of fat, carbohydrates, and vitamins. Worldwide trade as well as the increased importance of finished products and the customers’ growing desire for quality and organic food are further increasing requests for inspections and safety.

With its network of testing facilities throughout the world, TÜV SÜD is supporting this trend. On behalf of manufacturers and retailers, hundreds of employees working in modern laboratories ensure that food becomes “transparent,” regardless whether it pertains to fresh fish, milk powder, or candy. The company has consistently invested in its laboratories in North America and Europe, and in testing facilities in Asia over the past several years, such as in Shenzhen, China as well as in Bangalore, Mumbai, and New Delhi, India. South America will also become more important as a location in the future.

Whether it comes down to Italian red wine, beef steak, or exotic curry spice blends, TÜV SÜD ensures that the food industry operates safely and with greater transparency. Eating is more than a basic need; in fact, it keeps “body and soul” together as Socrates put it so eloquently more than 2,500 years ago. Ultimately, it should promote good health!