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Food Technology - Process and Product Review Testing

We offer a team approach to offer Process and Product Review services. While our
primary mission is to support Maine and New Hampshire food businesses, we also work
with small businesses across the U.S.

We typically conduct process and product reviews on acidified, canned food
products. For more information on FDA’s guidance on acidified foods, please visit this
FDA web site:

***COMING SOON: We will be transitioning over to a new database this summer. It will
allow our clients to pay via credit card and electronic check. Clients will also be able to
submit recipes electronically. We will keep you updated on the progress.

Our team consists of:

  • Kath Davis-Dentici, Research Assistant and Laboratory Manager, conducts and supervises food testing
  • Dr. Beth Calder and Dr. Jason Bolton, Process Authorities and primary contacts for
    questions regarding testing, results and process and product reviews.






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.

In-state: Out-of-State:
Test: Pricing Test: Pricing
pH $13.00 pH $21.00
Water activity $13.00 Water activity $21.00
Brix $13.00 Brix $21.00
Microbial analysis $55.00 Microbial analysis $85.00
Water phase salt $30.00 Water phase salt $45.00
Filing Scheduled
$80.00 Filing Scheduled

***Pickled (acidified foods) will need both pH and water activity tests.

***Jams, Jellies, Caramel, chocolate and dessert sauces will need pH, water activity and
brix testing.

Food samples that do not typically require a review are baked goods (without dairy-
based fillings/frostings), candy/confections, fruit-based jams/jellies and dry mixes.
Beth and Jason can provide least sterilizing values for process schedules (FDA Form

***Holidays: Our laboratory observes federal holidays and will be closed on those
holidays. The laboratory is also closed the last two weeks in December for inventory
purposes and will reopen on January 2.

The testing and review process are usually completed within 3-4 weeks, but can be
delayed due to holidays, type of testing or volume of products submitted for testing.
We intend to provide test results and review letters in a timely manner, but we conduct
these services on a part-time basis around our research and teaching schedules. We
appreciate your patience – thanks!

What is required for the review process:

  • Please include your name, company name, email, mailing address and phone
  • One container of each finished product in the container in which it will be
    sold.  For acidified foods (i.e. pickled foods, sauces, dressings) if you intend to sell
    your product in several different container sizes, please submit 1 sample of each
    container size.
  • Recipe (with ingredients and amounts, preferably based on weight in grams,
    ounces or pounds). If you can convert the weights over to the same unit for the
    entire recipe, it helps us immensely. Here is a helpful web page on converting
  • Detailed process description of how each product is made including heating
    times and temperatures.
  • Please limit the number of samples to 10 per review.
  • Please be sure to place an identifying label on each product.
  • For ready to eat, raw, refrigerated and minimally processed foods – you may need
    additional microbial testing; please contact Beth (contact information below) to
    schedule a time to send in your product for testing.
  • Payment – payable to the University of Maine.  We prefer that you send in your
    payment with your samples and if you have any questions about the cost of
    testing, please contact Beth or Jason.
  • If delivering samples in person, please drop off samples with Pat Stoddard in
    Room 130 Hitchner Hall.

Kath Davis-Dentici









If mailing your product, please pack products carefully and mail to:

Kath Davis-Dentici
University of Maine
School of Food and Agriculture
5735 Hitchner Hall, Room 201
Orono, Maine 04469-5735

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
Dr. Beth Calder or Dr. Jason Bolton.

Beth Calder, Ph.D.
Extension Food Science Specialist
University of Maine
School of Food and Agriculture
5735 Hitchner Hall
Orono, Maine 04469-5735
207-581-2791 or email:

Jason Bolton, Ph.D.
Extension Food Safety Specialist
University of Maine
Cooperative Extension
5735 Hitchner Hall
Orono, Maine 04469-5735
207-581-1366 or email:

Other Resources:

Starting a new food business and need some guidance on how to get started? Please
visit this online fact sheet called Recipe to
Market:  Recipe to Market Workshops are also
available on how to start a food business, please contact Beth if you are interested in
attending a workshop.

Food safety workshops for Maine food industries:


Need Microbiological testing, shelf-life and/or nutrition analysis for labels?

Two laboratories in Maine provide these services:

Katahdin Analytical Services:

Northeast Laboratory 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 web site:

Regulatory or inspection questions?  Please visit this web site for contact information:


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