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Welcome to University of Maine Process and Product Review Testing Services Online System

We offer a team approach to provide food testing services and specialize in working with small and start-up food businesses. While our primary mission is to support Maine and New Hampshire food businesses, we also work with businesses across the U.S. and are recognized process authorities by the FDA.

  • Kathy Dentici, Research Assistant and Laboratory Manager. Kathy conducts and supervises the food testing.
  • Dr. Beth Calder and Dr. Jason Bolton, process authorities and primary contacts for questions regarding testing, test results, and process and product reviews. Beth and Jason review the test results, formulations, and processing methods submitted and also write the review letters.

We typically conduct process and product reviews on shelf-stable, canned foods, fermented foods, and water-activity controlled dessert sauces. We do not conduct process reviews on perishable (frozen or refrigerated foods) or meat and poultry products.

Confidentiality note: Submitted recipes are kept strictly confidential. However, test results and review letters will be shared with regulatory agencies as part of the product review process.

NEW! We now offer an online submission system to provide faster turnaround times for clients. Clients will also be able to check in real time the arrival and status of their food products during the testing process.

We have prepared a Getting Started guide to help you prepare how to use our new process and product review online submission system. This guide goes over the step-by-step process and information you will need when sending in a food product to us for testing. Food products must be entered into the system and paid for one at a time. We will now be providing review letters for each individual product submitted for testing. Clients will now have to use a credit card or electronic check to pay for testing in advance. If you have questions about paying options for food testing, please contact us.

For new clients, please first create a user ID and Password here.

When you have a user ID and Password and ready to place a food testing order, go to My Orders. If you have any questions, please contact us.

Examples of the types of testing

  • Pickled (acidified foods) and most sauces/dressings will need both pH and water activity tests.
  • Jams, jellies, applesauce, and fruit butters will need pH, water activity, and Brix tests.
  • Dessert sauces (caramel and chocolate) will need Brix and water activity tests.
  • Fermented foods will need pH and titratable acidity tests.

Food samples that do not typically require a review in Maine are baked goods (without dairy-based fillings/frostings), candy/confections, plain, berry-based jams/jellies, and dry mixes.

Our turnaround time is typically 4-5 weeks, but can be delayed due to holidays, our schedules or can be impacted by the volume of products sent to us for testing. We provide these services on a part-time basis around our research, outreach, and teaching schedules. We appreciate your patience. Our laboratory observes federal holidays and will be closed on those days. The laboratory is also closed the last two weeks in December for inventory purposes and will reopen typically on January 2.

Questions about testing?

If you have any questions whether you should send in a product for a review, which tests are required for your product, or how to start a food business in Maine, please contact us.

Other resources

Starting a new food business and need some guidance on how to get started? See our Recipe to Market fact sheet. Recipe to Market Workshops are also available on how to start a food business. Contact Beth (beth.calder@maine.edu) if you are interested in attending a workshop. For more information, see upcoming workshop opportunities.

Additional resources from UMaine Extension:

Need microbiological or shelf-life testing, and/or nutrition facts labels?

Two laboratories in Maine provide these services:

Need to obtain a license to sell food products in Maine?

Food license applications can be accessed online through the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry, Quality Assurance and Regulations website.

Regulatory or inspection questions? Please visit Quality Assurance & Regulations website for contact information.