IEH has unparalleled microbiological analytical capabilities to identify microorganisms and determine whether they are the same to the strain level. In addition, IEH has comprehensive analytical chemistry capabilities to determine compositions and identify residues in food, water, environmental, and pharmaceutical samples.
Forensic Food Analysis
Each year many food manufacturers receive a number of claims against their products. IEH has several decades of experience in providing forensic laboratory, claim assessment and expert witness support services in such critical cases.
Molecular Epidemiology – Specialized microbial identification and fingerprinting services can assess the probability of associating a food borne illness outbreak with an alleged source.
Spoilage Analysis – Abilities in evaluating container integrity, shelf life, microbial identification and cold chain modeling to assess responsibility for product loss due to spoilage.
Process Safety – Our staff includes six experts recognized as Process Authorities by the FDA, able to conduct forensic investigations of thermal and aseptic processes.
Forensic Mycology (Mold and Fungi)
Over the past few years allegations that fungi in buildings can be toxic have resulted in a wave of personal injury and property damage lawsuits. IEH has unique identification and source tracking capabilities.
Fungal Identification – Fungal toxicity is often expressed at the species, rather than genus level. The IEH polyphasic technique is the most reliable method for determining fungal identification available. The IEH fungal identification database contains thousands of entries, compared to just over 100 species which can be identified by the EPA PCR Mold Identification and Enumeration technology.
Molecular Epidemiology – Fungal identification to the strain level can assess the probability of associating a fungal growth with an alleged source.
Forensic Environmental Analysis
IEH has a comprehensive range of analytical capabilities that can assist in environmental forensic investigations.
Stable Isotope Analysis – Stable isotopes are incorporated during the production of chemicals and the formation of biochemicals. IEH can generate stable isotope profiles, which are increasingly recognized as a forensic tool to discriminate between materials derived from different sources or grown in different regions.
Microbial Source Tracking – Microbial Source Tracking (MST) is based upon DNA fingerprinting of distinct and stable differences in bacteria living in different host environments. Developed by the Principal of IEH, Dr. Mansour Samadpour, MST can be used to identify and assess the impact and contribution of point and non-point sources of microbial pollution in food, water & waste water, pharmaceutical, health care and other environments.
Targeted Chemical Analysis – IEH has available a wide array of specific analyses which can be used to measure and quantify chemicals such as PCBs, MTBE, petroleum hydrocarbons and other environmental contaminants of interest in water, waste water, soil and air.
Identification of Chemical Unknowns – When environmental contamination needs to be characterized IEH has available instrumentation including GC-MS, LC-MS and LC-MS-MS that can be used to identify and quantify unknowns.