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Agro products & Fertilizers

Nowadays safety of Agro products is very challenging. With the use of harmful pesticides and insecticides, all the products become hazardous to consume. Agricultural products & crops quality safety refers to the reliability, usability, and intrinsic value of agricultural products & crops, including the formation, remaining nutrients, hazards, and external characteristic factors in production, storage, circulation, and use. Thus laboratory testing will help to determine all the necessary factors for the safety of the products. Laboratory testing also  determines the amount of each fertilizer element in the fertilizer solution and the application rate

 

Mets lab provides a one-stop solutions for agro-based product and fertilizer testing for manufacturers, suppliers, retailers, and farmers.

 

At METS Lab

·       With advanced technical equipment and experienced testing experts focused on the quality testing of fertilizers and other agricultural-based products our  Lab provides one-stop analysis testing solutions, according to the corresponding standards to ensure their quality and safety.

·       We issue authoritative, scientific, fair and accurate testing reports for clients.

·       Fertilizers and agro-based products are tested in accordance with AOAC, ISO, EN , KFDA, USDA, GAFTA, FDA standards.

·       Tests performed for Agro Products are-

 

o   Sensory indicator tests : The sensory indicator test are based on the detection of agro products using body’s own sensory organs (eyes, ears, nose, mouth, hands) via color, aroma, texture, appearance and taste. The sensory traits can reflect the quality of the agro products. The application of sensory means to identify the quality of agro products is vital, when this methodology is utilized  for product inspection in importing.  Sensory indicator tests objectively evaluate the color, aroma, size, taste, texture, shape, transparency, gloss, flavor, physiological disorder or stains of the product through sensory experiences.

o   Physical Testings : Physical testing will ensure product consistency and also acts as an indicator of quality.   It helps to verify the product value and can ensure safety.  Some of the parameters include color, viscosity, particle size, test weight, foreign matter, texture.

o   Chemical testings : The chemical testing aids in deriving food composition and provide insights into the essential nutrients present in the agro products. Proximate & nutritional analysis of agro products comes under chemical testing. Chemical testing involve pH, moisture, ash, acidity, proteins, carbohydrates, fat content, energy value, filth content, crude fiber, acid insoluble ash, peroxide value,  dietary fiber, gluten, free fatty acid, food additives, shelf life, sugars, micronutrients like minerals and vitamins.

o   Contaminants testing : Food products are prone to contamination during its production, processing and consumption. Manufacturers incorporate certain level of chemicals to protect the food products for damage. It retains in the food chain as the residue and contaminate the final product; thus contaminants testing seek extreme significance to confirm the food products are fit for consumption.  The contaminants in the food products are toxic metals, pesticides,  veterinary drug residues, organic pollutants, radionuclides, mycotoxins. This procedure of testing reduces the risk associated with food contaminants by undergoing a thorough chemical and microbiological analysis.  Contaminant testing involves radioactivity, heavy metal analysis via ICP-AES/ICP-MS, mycotoxins (ELISA, RT-PCR, LC-MS/MS, HPLC) veterinary drug (LC-MS/MS, HPLC), pesticides(LC-MS/MS, GC-MS), harmful chemical residues (LC-MS/MS, GC-MS).

o   GMO : Genetically modified organisms (GMO) are farm products with breed advancement is introduced via gene recombinant technology.  Sophisticated confirmation is inevitable to ensure products are GMO-free. The difference between the natural plant and GMO is in its DNA structure, so the direct method is for the detection of DNA. The common technology to accomplish DNA analysis is real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).

o   Microbiology Tests : Microbiological testing is an imperative component of all food safety program and it make use of biological, biochemical, molecular or chemical methods for the detection, identification or enumeration of microorganisms in a material. Microbiological testing of total bacterial count, Coliform, Yeast & Mould, E-coli, Salmonella, Staphylococcus Aureus etc is essential for agro based products for ensuring safety.

o   Environment of producing area tests : Environment of producing area is the key factor for developing good quality and hygiene agro-products.  These agro products are influenced by various factors like ecosystem, meteorology and climate which is impossible to appraise in a laboratory.  So the quality of general factors like soil, air and water should be monitored and evaluated time to time.

·       Tests performed by METS Lab  for fertilizers are

 

o   Ammoniacal nitrogen : Ammoniacal nitrogen is a nitrogen rich substance, and it has been converted by soil acting bacteria to nitrate nitrogen. It is not as easily leach out from the soil. “Ammoniacal nitrogen” labelled on fertilizer labels indicates that it is a readily available form of nitrogen.  AOAC 920.03-1920 [Nitrogen (Ammoniacal) in fertilizers] and ISO 25475:2016 [Fertilizers Determination of ammoniacal nitrogen] are the standard methods for the determination of ammoniacal nitrogen via distillation in alkaline solution followed by titration.

o   Nitric nitrogen

o Total nitrogen : The term total nitrogen denotes the total amount of nitrogen including ammonium, nitrate and organically bound nitrogen. AOAC 978.02 and ISO 5315:1984  are the generally recommended for the evaluation of total nitrogen. AOAC 978.02 stipulates the measurement of total nitrogen in fertilizers through two types of catalysts, either copper sulfate or chromium metal is added to analyze total nitrogen.  The same principle is recommended by ISO 5315:1984 in which ammonia is reduced in the presence of chromium powder in acid medium, further distillation in alkaline solution and followed by titration using methyl red as indicator. ISO 20620:2021 is another method for the determination of total nitrogen but via combustion.

o   Ureic nitrogen : Ureic Nitrogen is obtained from Urea, rich source of nitrogen and it is water soluble. So the determination of urea content is of prime importance. AOAC 2003.14-2009  (Urea in water-soluble fertilizer. Urea- Urea-Formaldehyde Fertilizer Products and in Aqueous Urea Solutions) and ISO 19746:2017 (Determination of urea content in urea-based fertilizers by high performance liquid chromatography) are the international standard test methods for the determination of urea content. For the analysis, urea fertilizer products are diluted with aqueous acetonitrile and the unreacted mixture is subjected though liquid chromatography having an amine column. The urea peak is detected with the aid of a UV detector, the peak is measured at 195 nm.

o   Phosphorus (P2O5) : Phosphorus is an essential element for the growth of plants and high crop yield.   It aids in photosynthesis as well as enhance the plant’s ability to use and store energy.  Commercial phosphate fertilizers are manufactured using phosphate rock. The test methods for the determination of phosphorus are:

AOAC 957.02 Phosphorus (Total) in Fertilizers: Preparation of Test Solution

ISO 15959:2016 Fertilizers Determination of extracted phosphorus

ISO 6598:1985 Fertilizers Determination of phosphorus content Quinoline phosphomolybdate gravimetric method

o   Potassium (K2O) : Potassium is one among the significant nutrient of commercial fertilizers. It enhances plants’ abilities to resist disease and plays a major role in increasing crop yields and overall quality. Potassium safeguard the plant from cold or dryness and wilt, moreover it helps in strengthening the root system of plants. AOAC 935.02, AOAC 983.02-1985(2002), ISO 17319:2015, ISO 5310:1986 are some of the international standards explaining the test methods for the determination of potassium in fertilizers.

o   Sodium (Na) : Sodium is not considered an indispensable plant nutrient but it keeps plants healthy and fertile. AOAC 983.04-1992 (Sodium in fertilizers. Atomic absorption spectrophotometric methods) detailed the determination of sodium in fertilizer by employing atomic absorption spectroscopy at 330.3 nm using air–C2H2 flame

o   Chloride (Cl) : Chloride reinforces stems and aid in reducing lodging and resisting several plant diseases.  Additionally, chloride plays a major role in osmotic regulation.  This effect may be related to its function in osmotic regulation.  The international standards citing the detection of chloride are:

AOAC Official Method 928.02 Chlorine (Water-Soluble) in Fertilizers

EN 16195:2012(MAIN) Fertilizers – Determination of chlorides in the absence of organic material

o   Biuret in case of Urea Nitrogen : Biuret is a nitrogen compound obtained from urea, but excess biuret can stunt plant growth and cause chlorosis of leaves plants. Biuret by itself is also toxic, so a general guideline for safe use of urea is  applied to soil to limit the usage of biuret to a maximum of 2% in urea. AOAC 960.04 (Biuret in fertilizers — Spectrophotometric method) and ISO 18643:2016 (Fertilizers and soil conditioners Determination of biuret content of urea-based fertilizers, HPLC method) are generally used international standards for the determination of Biuret

o   Lead (Pb) : Micronutrient fertilizers contain high concentration of cadmium and lead. The addition of trace elements to NPK fertilizers usually enhances the lead content of the finished fertilizer.  AOAC 2006.03 and ISO 17318:2015 are usually employed for the determination of Lead and Cadmium.

o   Cadmium (Cd)

o   Etc

 

For more information about fertilizer and agro-based testing, please feel free to contact us.