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Food Sample Submission

Basic food quality testing

The Food Technology Center does not perform microbial testing, however, we do offer the following basic quality control tests for small food producers (including cottage foods) wishing to establish the safety and stability of their food products.

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  • Acidity (pH) — $10 per sample (minimum sample size 1/4 cup | 60 mL). Measures acidity or alkalinity of an aqueous solution on a logarithmic scale from 0 to 14 where 7 is neutral and the higher values are considered more alkaline and the lower the values the more acidic.
  • Water Activity (Aw) — $15 per sample (minimum sample size 50 g | 1/4 cup). Measures the partial vapor pressure as a ratio of available water on a scale of 0-1.00 where higher values (0.86-0.99) mean most water is available and tends to support microbial growth (including bacteria, mold and yeast) and lower values (<0.85) mean that more water molecules in the substance are bound to other molecules (i.e. sugar or salt) and thus not readily available for microbial growth/spoilage. If you would like to learn more about the science behind water activity.
  • Degree Brix (°Bx) — $5 per sample (minimum sample size 1/4 cup | 60 mL). Typically measures the dissolved sugars (solids) in a liquid substance — usually fruit and vegetable products like juice, jams and jellies — using a refractometer.
  • % Moisture — $5 per sample (minimum sample size 50 g | 1/4 cup). Measures the total amount of water in a product.


Mailing Address:
University of Idaho
1908 E. Chicago Street
Caldwell, ID 83605

Phone: 208-795-5331