Food Chain

National Centre for Technology and Food Safety (CNTA)

Planta Piloto - CNTA - ADItech

Pilot Plant

CNTA offers a 300 m2 pilot plant with the necessary equipment for the processing of different food products. Specifically, the plant has equipment for:

– Product preparation: formulator, refinery, press, dicer, bowl, etc.

– Packaging: in glass, tin or plastic container with modified atmosphere.

– Preservation technologies: rotary autoclave, UHT system with scraped surface tubular heat exchangers, high hydrostatic pressure processing (HPP) equipment, high voltage pulses electric fields (PEF) generator, radio frequency (RF) unit.

Laboratorio Físico- Químico - CNTA - ADItech

Physico-Chemical Laboratory

The physico-chemical laboratory at CNTA offers the equipment necessary to determine the composition of food and detect the presence of contaminants. The laboratory has the necessary equipment for sample pre-treatment and homogenization, digesters for the analysis of proteins and crude fibre, manual and automatic distillers, equipment for analysis of dietary fibre and fat, evaporation systems in nitrogen current, rotary evaporators, ovens and muffles, centrifuges, ultrasonic and thermostatically-controlled baths and circulators.

Laboratorio de Control de Calidad - CNTA - ADItech

Quality Control Laboratory

The laboratory has the expertise and capabilities to ensure that food products comply with the specifications and requirements set by the regulations in force. In addition to the control of the quality in the finished products, product labelling is reviewed in this laboratory. Other activities conducted in the laboratory include the study of plant varieties for industrial application and the assurance of quality under specific designations and labels. Sensory analysis is also offered including: discriminative tests, preference descriptive tests and consumer tasting tests supported by chemical analysis: salt, acidity, dry residue, sulphur content, etc.

Relevant infrastructure and equipment available at the laboratory includes: texture analyser, Gardner colour analyser, colour-measuring sphere spectrophotometer, digital refractometer, microwave oven for detection of moisture content/dry matter, Monier Williams, Microscope, Specific equipment for quality control of finished product: fibre meter, size meter, turbidity meters, etc.; scales, pH meter and a tasting room.

Laboratorio de Instrumental - CNTA - ADItech

Instrumentation Laboratory

The Instrumentation laboratory has the following equipment:

– Gas Chromatography with Mass Spectrometry detection (GC-MS/MS): 3 systems with ion trap technology and 1 with triple quadrupole technology.

– Gas Chromatography with Flame Ionization Detection (GC-FID): 2 systems.

– High Resolution Liquid Chromatography with Mass Spectrometry detection (HPLC-MS/MS): 2 systems with triple quadrupole technology.

– High Resolution Liquid Chromatography with Fluorescence detection, Refractive Index detection and Diode Array Detection (HPLC-FL, HPLC-IR, HPLC-DAD): 3 systems

– Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry: 1 flame atomic absorption spectrometry system and 1 graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrophotometer

– Flame photometry: 1 system

– UV-Visible spectrophotometry: 2 systems

– Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS): 1 system

– Microwave digestion system: 1 unit

Laboratorio de Aguas - CNTA - ADItech

Water Laboratory

CNTA has a specific department for the analysis of packaged water, water for human consumption, surface water or groundwater.

This laboratory is equipped with sophisticated equipment for regular quality control: ion chromatography systems, spectrophotometers, automatic titrator, fluorescence analysers, extraction hoods, pH meter, conductivity meter, turbidity meter as well as general equipment including glassware micropipettes or auxiliary materials.

Laboratorio de Química Verde - CNTA - ADItech

Green Chemistry Laboratory

The laboratory has two analytical-scale systems of high resolution liquid chromatography with UV/vis photodiode array detection, fluorescence detector, refractive index detector, gas chromatography with flame ionization detection, supercritical fluid pilot plant system, membrane filtration equipment, laboratory-scale spray drying system, climatic chamber for controlled temperature and humidity, vacuum oven, freeze dryer, antioxidant capacity analyzer, and auxiliary equipment such as centrifugal, water baths, pH meter, etc.

Laboratorio de Envases y Medio Ambiente - CNTA - ADItech

Packaging and Environmental Laboratory

CNTA has a specific department for packaging and environmental laboratory for the analysis of waste water samples and packaging of any material. In addition, consultancy services for improving environmental performance are offered.
The laboratory is equipped with specific equipment for day-to-day of quality control or analysis of product contamination. The equipment available includes spectrophotometers, digesters, automatic distillers, hardness testers, tin analyzers, presses, sealing and airtightness test equipment, Fourier-Transform Infrared spectrometer (FTIR), extraction hoods, pH meter, conductivity meter, automatic samplers and flow meters as well as general equipment, glassware, micropipettes or auxiliary material.

Laboratorio de Bioprocesos - CNTA - ADItech

Bioprocessing Laboratory

The laboratory comprises three sections:

– Fermentation laboratory with 3 bioreactors for batch fermentations from 2 up to 10 litres.

– Microbiology Research Laboratory:

  • Anaerobic workstation: MACS 500 + AIRLOCK (AES CHEMUNEX) for culture of microorganisms with special oxygen requirements (absence or low concentration)
  • Automatic colony plate counter (PROTOCOL , AES CHEMUNEX)
  • Equipment and materials necessary for counting/isolation and microbial culture.

– Molecular Microbiology Laboratory

DHPLC equipment for the quantitative/qualitative monitoring of Viable Non-Culturable (VNC) microbial populations

At CNTA’s pilot plant a 50-litre bioreactor is available for scaling up the fermentative / industrial microbiology processes developed in the Bioprocessing Laboratory.

Laboratorio de Bioensayos - CNTA - ADItech

Bioassays Laboratory

The laboratory is made up by two units:

– A microbiology research laboratory used for monitoring the microbiological processes related to the projects developed at CNTA. It comprises:

  • Laboratory compartmentalised into the following areas: sample preparation, sample storage, media preparation, food inoculation room, water inoculation room, incubation and counting, and decontamination room.
  • Equipment for temperature control: incubation chambers at 37°C and 55°C and 17 incubation units, as well as 3 thermostatic baths and 4 refrigerators / freezers. For the storage of microbiological cultures a liquid nitrogen container at Temp. <-180°C is available.
  • Equipment for the preparation of microbiological culture media: hot plates, unit for preparation of sterile diluents, culture media dispenser, hot air oven, autoclaves for sterilization / decontamination of materials.
  • Equipment for microbiological inoculation: automatic gravimetric dilutors, peristaltic homogenizers, two laminar flow chambers and a biological safety cabinet for work in a sterile environment.
  • Fast microbiology automated equipment: detection of pathogenic bacteria via UV assays (ELFA – VIDAS) and automated counting of indicator microorganisms by automated MPN method (TEMPO).

–   Biotechnology Laboratory: the technological equipment in this section is mainly focused on two aspects. On the one hand, DNA analysis and, on the other hand, ELISA-based analytical methods applied to both food products and microbiological identifications.

For the development of DNA-related studies CNTA is equipped with:

  • Two thermal cyclers for qualitative detection (AppliedBiosystems 2720 and 9700) via qualitative PCR-related methods to conduct both diagnostic and preparatory.
  • Two real-time PCR units (Stratagene MX3005P), an automatic sequencer (ABI 310), positive pressure booths for work with DNA, horizontal and vertical electrophoresis equipment, table centrifuges and refrigerated microcentrifuges, N-1000 nanodrop type spectrophotometric gauges, UV-VIS spectrophotometer and a image analysis unit equipped with CCD camera (BioradGelDocEq).
  • DHPLC Equipment for quantitative / qualitative monitoring of Viable Non-Culturable (VNC) microbial populations.
  • Thermal Cyclers.

Immunoassays are performed with ELISA plate readers (Multiskan Ascent) and specific software for data processing.

The laboratory is compartmentalised into separate areas allowing an optimised workflow and preventing the risk of cross contamination. A class II biological safety cabinet is available for sample preparation, together with modular homogenization equipment to facilitate decontamination (away from the areas of extraction and analysis of samples) and all the ancillary instrumental necessary for the development of the analytical activity by a qualified and independent team.

Laboratorio de Calibraciones - CNTA - ADItech

Calibration Laboratory

CNTA has a fully-equipped laboratory to serve agrifood companies in the calibration of measurement devices and auxiliary instruments. Calibrations performed include weight, temperature, refractometry, Brix concentration, length, pH, dimensional, conductivity, etc. either on the client’s premises or at CNTA.

Equipment available also includes thermostatic baths, length and mass standards, standard thermometers, wireless temperature probes, etc.