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Heavy Metals

Detection of Heavy Metals

Heavy metals such as Lead, Cadmium, Mercury and Arsenic are all considered as toxic and have adverse health effects in human metabolism. Accumulation of heavy metals in the food chain can occur by bio-concentration e.g. from water or the food source.

  • Lead Long-term effects are its neurotoxicity and its effects on the cardiovascular tissue
  • Cadmium is primarily nephrotoxic and may cause bone demineralization.
  • Mercury Extremely toxic on the nervous system
  • Arsenic More toxic and may cause cancer of skin, lungs and the urinary tract.

ITC Spices lab has the capability of testing the above mentioned heavy metals in Spices and its Products, the lab is equipped with ICP-OES which can detect the Heavy Metals as per the customer and regulatory requirements.


Pathogens and Toxins

Our microbiological testing detects and identifies a large number of pathogenic micro-organisms (pathogens) and toxins, such as

  • Salmonella
  • E. coli
  • Enterobacteriaceae
  • Coliforms
  • Mesophilic Aerobic Spore Formers
  • Aerobic Plate Count/ Total Bacterial Count/ Total Viable Count
  • Yeasts and Molds


The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) estimates that roughly 25 percent of the world's food production contains Mycotoxins. Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites of moulds, which already have toxic effects on vertebrates in the smallest quantities. Depending on specific substances and concentration, they are cancerogenic, mutagenic, teratogenic and immunosuppressive.

ITC Spices lab has the capability of testing Aflatoxins B1, B2, G1, G2 and Ochratoxin A in Spices. The lab is equipped with HPLC- Fluorescence detector which can detect the Aflatoxins at 0.5µg/Kg Level as per the regulatory requirements.

Pesticide Residues

ITC Spices lab has the capability of detecting 250 Pesticide Residues in Spices and its Products, the lab is equipped with sophisticated equipment like Gas Chromatography and Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatography Coupled with Tandem Mass Spectrometry, which can detect the pesticide residues up to 10 ug/Kg level in all the spices products. The following groups of chemicals will be tested in all the spices before the shipments and complies the customer and regulatory requirements.

  • Organochlorines
  • Organophosphorous
  • Pyrethroids
  • Nitrogen containing pesticides
  • Sulphur containing Pesticides
  • Triazoles
  • Imidazoles
  • Carbamates
  • Nicotinoids
  • Others

Physical and Chemical Analysis

Physical Analysis:


  • Foreign Matter/ Extraneous Matter
  • Mold Infested Pods (MIP)
  • Discoloured and Damaged Pods (DDP)
  • Insect Damaged Pods (IDP)
  • Broken Chilli
  • Loose Seeds


  • Foreign Matter/ Extraneous Matter
  • Insect Damaged Pods (IDP)
  • Defective Rhizome
  • Cut Rhizome
  • Bits and Pieces
  • Chura


  • Foreign Matter/ Extraneous Matter
  • Mold Infested Pods (MIP)
  • Insect Damaged Pods (IDP)
  • Jeeralu
  • Cumin with Tail

Chemical Analysis

  • Moisture
  • Water activity
  • Total Ash
  • Acid Insoluble Ash
  • Capsaicin (Heat Value) Content in Chilli
  • Colour in Chilli
  • Curcumin in Turmeric
  • Volatile oil in Cumin