Food Branch

Food supplement testing

Supplements are concentrated sources of nutrients or other substances with a nutritional or physiological effect. Both dose form, such as tablets or capsules, and their intent is to supplement the normal diet causes that are treated as products somewhere in-between foods and drugs.

As such, manufacturers and distributors are obligated to meet safety regulations and standards, which set the maximum levels for certain contaminants and additives in foodstuffs, also their nutritional value, nutrition declaration and health claim.

Food supplements testings require unparalleled experience and supervision, therefore we offer a comprehensive rage of tests concerning food supplements.


Such complex tests should be carried out by the highly qualified and accredited Laboratory in the scope of conformity assessment, which conducts testing services in accordance with norms, standards and testing protocols, using state of the art measuring and research equipment.

It is also required that the controlling food supplements laboratory should be a recognized leader in implementation and meeting standards of good manufacturing practice (GMP).


Our testing offer of quality control:

  • microbiological – accredited testing conducted in accordance with European Pharmacopoeia
  • heavy metals
  • pesticides residue
  • mycotoxin
  • polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
  • dioxins, furans and polychlorinated biphenyls dioxin-like PCBs and PCBs non- dioxin-like
  • additives (sweeteners, pigments, preservatives and others)
  • challenge test
  • allergen presence and content
  • pH
  • mineral elements: Ca, Na, K, Mg, Fe etc.
  • amino acid profile
  • composition of fatty acids: saturates (SAFA – saturated fatty acids), mono-unsaturates (MUFA – mono-unsaturates fatty acids), polyunsaturates (PUFA – polyunsaturated fatty acids), trans fats, omega-3 and omega 6 fatty acids
  • sterols including cholesterol
  • vitamins
  • nutrition declaration GDA group I (protein, fat, carbohydrate, energy value)
  • nutrition declaration GDA group II (GDA I group + fatty acids, sugars in all and sodium)



Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are organic compounds composed of fused aromatic rings, such as:

  • naphthalene
  • fluoranten
  • anthracene
  • benzo(b)fluoranten
  • benzo(a)pyrene
  • benzo(k)fluoranthene

PAHs maximum levels has been set in Commission Regulation (EU) 2015/1933. The new requirements apply from 1 April 2016. Commission Regulation (EU) 2015/1933 setting maximum levels for benzo(a)pyrene and total content of benzo(a)pyrene, benzo[a]anthracene, benzo(b)fluoranthene and chrysene in food supplements containing botanical ingredients or their preparations. Food supplements containing propolis, royal jelly, spirulina or their preparations.
Maximum levels of benzo(a)pyrene, for foodstuffs is 10,0 μg/kg and the total amount for above mentioned analytes is 50,0 μg/kg. Tests concerning PAHs levels are ensuring consumer safety, as products must meet safety requirements.


Food labeling


Due to constant change and the need to adapt to it, the modern consumer expects accurate and comprehensive information which will help one making aware choices also in terms of nutrition.


The issue of informing consumers about the product’s nutritional value is regulated in cohesion with provisions of the law – Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2011 on the provision of food information to consumers, amending Regulations (EC) No 1924/2006 and (EC) No 1925/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council, and repealing Commission Directive 87/250/EEC, Council Directive 90/496/EEC, Commission Directive 1999/10/EC, Directive 2000/13/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, Commission Directives 2002/67/EC and 2008/5/EC and Commission Regulation (EC) No 608/2004. Correct labeling of food in accordance with principles and requirements of food law plays a significant role ensuring safety of food placed onto the market. The content of vitamins and minerals and other substances with a nutritional or physiological effect which is present in food supplement are declared in the labeling in numerical form. The units used to determine the content of vitamins and minerals regulates Annex 1 to the Regulation of the Minister of Health on 9 October 2007 on the composition and labeling of food supplements. Declared content of vitamins, minerals and other substances with a nutritional or physiological effect, which are stated on the label, is given by manufacturer’s recommended daily portion. The information on vitamins and minerals shall also be given as a percentage of the recommended daily intake, according to the reference values is set out in Annex 3 to the above mentioned Regulation determining the reference value for labeling food supplements.


It should be noted that labeling of nutritional value on food supplements is not mandatory. However, in the case of voluntary nutrition labeling of food supplements, nutrition declaration must be adapted to the requirements of Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Provision of Food Information to Consumers(…). When the manufacturer decides on declaring product’s nutritional value on the label one must follow the guidelines of the legislation. The label should provide information on the energy value and the amount of fat, saturates, carbohydrates, sugars, protein and salt. If in the process the salt or ingredients containing salt wasn’t added manufacturer may add to the list of nutritional value that the salt content is exclusively due to the presence of naturally occurring sodium in the product.

The order of the nutritional information should be presented, if space permits, in tabular form and in a specific order. Where space does not permit, the declaration shall appear in linear format.


Voluntary information is in bold – so as to highlight it:

  • Energy value
  • Fat, of which:
    • saturates
    • mono-unsaturates
    • polyunsaturates
  • Carbohydrate, of which:
    • sugars
    • polyols
    • starch
  • Fiber
  • Protein
  • Salt
  • Vitamins and minerals


The requirement that the mandatory nutrition declaration should be in grams and refer to 100 g or 100 ml amounts and, if appropriate, to allow additional portion-based declarations or individual portion – a nutrition declaration per portion or per consumption unit.
Despite the fact that nutritional declaration on food supplements is voluntary, in the case of such occurrence, the manufacturer of food supplement must apply to provisions of the regulatory landscape.