The laboratories at NIFES
The laboratory activity at NIFES is divided into the laboratory for molecular biology and laboratories for analysing nutrients and undesirable substances. The laboratories mainly carry out analysis associated with NIFES’ research programmes.
NIFES is a national reference laboratory for a number of analytical methods in the field of food chemistry and for certain methods that analyze pathogenic parasites in seafood. NIFES has approximately 70 accredited methods in accordance with Norwegian standard NS-EN ISO/IEC 17025.
Read about the laboratories’ quality control system.
The laboratory for molecular biology
In the laboratory for molecular biology genes are analyzed by several.PCR based techniques (method for copying smaller pieces of DNA) and micro matrixes (a system where the activity of several genes can be measured simultaneously). The laboratory is also carrying out work with several cell lines.
Other laboratory activities include biochemistry based techniques (for example spectrofotometric techniques to study the metabolic system in fish) microbiology (for example analysis of fish feed for various bacteria and mould and yeast). Seafood and water samples are analysed for bacteria and farmed fish samples are analysed for pharmaceutical residues. The laboratory activities also include work with parasites.
Caption: A Real Time PCR machine, as shown in the picture, is used to analyze gene expression in cells and tissue.
The laboratory for nutrient analysis
In the laboratory for nutrient analysis fish samples, oils, feed, feed ingredients, fish meal, fish products (canned), shellfish, foodstuffs and human samples are analyzed for their content of vitamins, fat, fatty acids, fat classes, astaxanthin, canthaxanthin, synthetic antioxidants, rancidity TBARS, proteins, amino acids, histamine and energy.
Caption: A UFGC (Ultra Fast Gas Chromatograph) is used to analyze fatty acids in various foods.
The laboratory for undesirable substances
In the laboratory for undesirable substances fish, oils, feed, feed ingredients, fish meal and shellfish and human samples (blood, serum and plasma) are analysed for several undesirable substances, including environmental pollutants , pharmaceutical residues, heavy metals and their chemical forms. The analyses are carried out using advanced analytical techniques. Automated techniques are used for the preparation (extraction, purification and concentration) of samples.
Caption: The picture shows an analytical instrument (a high resolution GCMS), which can detect and analyze very low concentrations of dioxisn in fish and other seafood.