Research

The Agriculture & Food Laboratory (AFL), is proud of its history providing applied research support to academic, government and biotechnology clients. Established in 1997, we provide analytical, diagnostic, and regulatory testing. Our scientists actively participate in research projects with industry, academia and government. As a division of the University of Guelph, the country’s foremost institution for food, agriculture, veterinary teaching and research; we serve researchers with our approach to excellence in laboratory findings. We understand your needs for defensible results, and take every effort to ensure that protocols are stringently followed, providing confidence in the data. AFL ensures testing under stringent protocols to support all of your research needs.

Below are quick links to learn more about our expertise in support of research. Please contact us with any further questions:

Overview

AFL Strives to be the leading science based testing provider of solutions to food and agriculture.  To achieve such research, we will:

  • Take current methods and apply them to new matrices;
  • Address food safety and animal health issues with diagnostic tests;
  • Develop new methods to address emerging food agricultural, environmental, or animal health concerns;
  • Provide novel and innovative solutions;
  • Manage your projects using approved procedures for routine analysis, instrument operations, documentation and administration;
  • Deliver accurate, timely and cost effective results;
  • Maintain sample integrity and protection of intellectual properties;
  • Meet or exceed your expectations.

Microbiology

Our microbiology team provides extensive support in research projects for clients in food safety, shelf life and stability studies. We can help your company address food safety and animal health issues with diagnostic tests to uncover the source and cause of the problem. We can help you develop and validate analytical methods to detect, isolate, identify and characterize micro-organisms in food, water and environmental samples. We evaluate and validate test kits for detection and/or enumeration of micro-organisms in food. This lab is one of a few endorsed by American Association of Analytical Communities (AOAC) as a beta test site to validate kits under AOAC Performance Tested Methods Program.  Laboratory Services is uncompromising in the delivery of quality and excellence.

Molecular Biology

A wide array of standard and specialty molecular services is available. Whether you are looking for automated DNA sequencing, oligo synthesis, DNA fingerprinting or isolation and banking, we have the expertise at your service. Our scientists and technical staff are dedicated to keeping apprised of new molecular methodologies as they continue to advance rapidly. We successfully develop, validate and implement many molecular methodologies for both routine testing and analytical needs in research projects that span plant, animal, microbial, food, water and environmental samples. When it is time for your next research project, our team has the expertise to work with you to develop, adapt, and/or validate new molecular methods for various purposes.

What’s New at Guelph Molecular Center - Ion Torrent PGM (Semiconductor Sequencing) - Sequencing of whole microbial genomes or deep sequencing of targeted genomic regions. This instrument provides analysis of microbial population in a sample, identifying a high percentage of species in complex samples with up to 100,000 Long Reads.

Please follow this link to access the Oligo Synthesis and Sequencing login page or contact us for more information.

Residue Testing

Lab Services has built client relationships in residue testing over many years. Some of our projects have lasted over thirty years, and speak volumes of our ability to provide trusted results year after year. We have installed EPA, MOE, USDA and CFIA methods, and can offer screening and confirmatory methods for your research needs. The lab has achieved accreditation with SCC and CALA to the ISO/IEC 17025 quality standards, for specific tests listed on our scopes of accreditation. The lab is also an SCC recognized GLP test site. Our scientists work closely with legislators, producer associations and academics. As the effects of residues are traced in the environment, we develop methods applicable to water, soil and biosolids, plants, tissue and honey.

NEW

Currently, neonicotinoids, a relatively new class of insecticide, are in wide use globally. These more water soluble compounds are taken up by plants to provide protection from insects.

In 2011-12 the AFL established a method for testing this class of insecticide in a number of bee related products (i.e. honey, pollen, beeswax), as well as bees themselves, to help determine the extent of exposure which may be occurring. We also test a range of environmental samples where bees and other insects may be additionally exposed to these compounds such as water, soil and vegetation. In addition, we can screen for these pesticides in fruits, vegetables, animal tissues and treated seeds. Contact us for further information.

Soil & Nutrient

Lab Services has a long history of testing in support of research. Areas of testing include soils, biosolids, water and plant tissue. We can modify existing methods, install specific methods or develop new method in support of your research objectives. The lab has tests accredited to ISO/IEC 17025 by CALA, is an approved OMAFRA soil lab and is a registered GLP test site to meet regulatory requirements.

Please Note that due to import restrictions, soil can not be sent to Canada without import permits. An import permit can take several weeks to obtain and has a financial commitment that would be applied to testing.

Test Method Development, Evaluation and Non-Routine Testing

Laboratory Services is accredited by Standards Council of Canada (SCC) for Test Method Development, Evaluation and Non-routine Testing (TMDNRT). This accreditation applies to animals and plants, food, water and environmental samples, and can be applied to development and validation of new testing methodology for screening and determination of organisms, veterinary drug residues, pesticides and pollutants in various matrices. It also applies to development of testing methods for assessment and validation of commercially available test kits.

We will provide an accredited approach to even the most novel testing requests.

Custom Testing

Lab Services can provide testing on a variety of matrices from food to environmental samples. Please contact us to find more about our testing services, and how we can meet your needs.