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.

Our Expertise

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


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.


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 variety of standard and specialty molecular services are available. Whether you are looking for traditional Sanger sequencing, high throughput (next generation sequencing), oligo synthesis, DNA fingerprinting, absolute quantification via digital PCR, or DNA isolation and banking, we have the expertise to serve your Molecular Biology research needs. Our scientists and technical staff are dedicated to gaining expertise in 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, fish, insects, 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 - Various applications of the high throughput sequencing - Sequencing of whole microbial genomes or deep sequencing of targeted genomic regions. This approach provides analysis of biological populations in a sample, identifying genus/species of bacteria, fungi, fish, animals, insects or plants in complex samples. 

Please click 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.

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 methods in support of your research objectives. The lab has tests accredited to ISO/IEC 17025 by CALA and is an approved OMAFRA soil testing lab.

Please Note that due to import restrictions, soil cannot be sent to Canada without import permits. 

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.