Foreign body analysis

Foreign body and fragment analysis

Foreign bodies, objects, glass fragments, glass particles and other contamination found in products are a serious issue at any point in the supply chain - especially for foods, drinks, cosmetics and pharmaceutical products.

It is of vital importance to identify the source of the material through analysis and resolve root causes to prevent recurrence.

We can help whether the foreign object has been introduced during manufacture of glass packaging, processing or filling of the product or potentially by the customer after purchase.

We provide analysis a whole range of foreign materials, including glass, plastics, metals and both manufactured and naturally occurring minerals.

Please contact us, or make an enquiry using the form above, if you have any bespoke requirements, require further information, or would like a quote for analysis.

For further information, please see:

Background Information

Identification of the likely source of a foreign body can be determined by analysing evidence present on the objects found using Optical Light Microscopy, Fractography and Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS) on a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). In addition, if a source is suspected comparative analysis can be carried out through a range of analytical techniques including Glass Refractive Index Measurement (GRIM) and Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectrophotometry.

In the case of glass fragments, surface features which indicate manufacturing methods or subsequent handling, glass composition, colour and density can all be analysed to identify, compare, confirm or rule-out potential sources of the foreign body.

Our expert consultants also provide comparative analysis, on-site line/process auditing and investigation to support clients. In the case of foreign object contamination this can be to identify the source, or to advise where future problems could arise.

Our standard service is UKAS accredited; a rapid response service is available where results can be issued within 24 hours of sample receipt, provided by experienced, glass specialists.

Where an injury or complaint is involved our expert witness service is also available to support clients and provide expert report and testimony.

Types of Foreign Material Analysed

We can analyse a whole range of different types of foreign body - including glass, plastics, metals and both manufactured and naturally occurring minerals. We can analyse any foreign object or material, but are typically contracted to investigate or identify:

  • Glass or glass-like foreign bodies found within foods, drinks, beers and spirits products;
  • Glass particle contamination, for instance within food and drinks;
  • Particulate, foreign materials and delamination in pharmaceuticals and drug products;
  • Glass fragments, stray and unknown materials;
  • Cosmetics, perfumes and fragrances;
  • Glass evidence from crime scenes;
  • Sanitary ware and nappies.

Further information, resources and case-studies

For further information, our case-studies provide detailed examples of some of the real and complex scenarios where our expert knowledge, experience and range of analytical competencies have identified the source of glass particles, fragments and foreign bodies - enabling leading brand owners, retailers and manufacturers to take informed decisions:

Please contact us, or make an enquiry using the form above, if you have any bespoke requirements, require further information, or would like a quote for analysis.

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