In agriculture processing, quality standards play a major role in whether it's testing for bacterial contamination, moisture content, measuring the amount of nutrients, or inspecting other agro goods.
In developing countries, food quality control and agricultural value chain are challenging as production is dominated by small farmers. However, in developed countries such as the US, things are different where internal as well as external lab testing both take place, 48% of plants used both while 30% used solely internal testing, 18% used outside labs while only 4% used neither according to a recent survey. Based on some evidence it is concluded that the external testing process has become more prevalent in recent years.
In the international trade Certificates of quality, there are essential documents issued by various institutions such as the USDA that covers a wide range of detailed monitoring & control measures and is one of the most demanding certifications. ISO certifications ensure vital features such as quality, ecology, safety, efficiency & effectiveness. Control Union is yet another internationally recognized certificate that carries out inspections for agriculture.
There are several institutions or labs specially designed for testing & standardization such as SGS, Intertek, Cotecna, Tuv sud, etc.
Quality testing in agro-industry often involves testing of seed, chemicals as well as water with their particular testing standards and analysis by using various sampling methods such as official methods approved by law, reference methods developed by organizations, Screening or rapid methods, Routine methods, Automated methods with the help of automated equipment or Modified method that are official and standardized ones.
While trading inspection process involves visual inspection such as Product grade check that verifies that the products are meeting the minimum grade requirement for admittance in importing countries, Organically grown products check-that ensures that the products are organically grown, Hormone & Antibiotics residue testing to check that products do not contain exceeded levels of drugs, additives checks if any, Pesticide level testing. Disease & infestation inspections involve Foodborne Organisms Testing, Quarantine Procedures Check, Cold Storage Inspection, Pest Infestation Check, Product Grade Label check, Net Quantity Declaration, Ingredients List Check, Manufacturer Information, Local Retailer Information, Documentation Check, Nutritional Facts, Language Check, Container Check, Container Check, etc.
Quality testing is a tool to support long term growth and survival of any business. It has become a vital part of the Agrifood industry that is important right from the producers to suppliers and ultimately to end customers.