Using Fully Integrated and Pre-Configured LIMS in Food & Beverage Testing Labs

A purpose-built LIMS, with the choice to embed LES, ELN, and other modules, leapfrogs the time-consuming customization process. Your platform is configured to meet your requirements before you’ve even begun because your industry’s best-established operating procedures and workflows establish its functionality. The benefits of this accelerated start are notable and many.

1. Save Money

Enhanced functional efficiencies and faster deployment mean significant cost savings. Over time, leaving behind stand-alone LES and ELN products and other point solutions for pre-packaged, fully embedded modular capabilities in one streamlined platform will help you increase your return.

2. Save Time

A pre-configured LIMS can deploy up to 75% quicker than a typical LIMS system. Its purposeful functionality reinforces a consistent, industry-standard workflow to help your lab attain enhanced productivity and efficiency.

3. Stay Focused

In the purpose-built LIMS, lab managers can disable or conceal non-essential functionality. The result is a user experience that is responsive to your industry, in addition to the specific requirements and use cases of your front-line staff. This results in greater productivity, less training time, and better overall quality.

4. Future-Proof Your Business

Over time, industry conditions and regulations change, and your lab is likely to change too – you may add new tests, new service areas, or new users as you expand. A modular, purpose-built LIMS which makes use of industry-standard web technology can grow with you, from startup labs through to worldwide operations, without the prohibitive cost, time, and compliance issues of specialized coding.

5. Reduce Risk

A purpose-built LIMS reflects the latest compliance and regulatory developments within your industry, plus the industry best practices. It eliminates the requirement for custom code and decreases the overall configuration effort as a result of this, and so decreasing the risk inherent with other LIMS projects.

Built Better for the Food and Beverage Industry

The safety of our worldwide food supply chain is ensured by food and beverage labs. They test a larger scope of products, utilizing a more diverse set of test techniques than almost any other type of lab. They require an informatics platform which operates just as consistently and uniquely as they do in order to keep pace.

This industry is defined by three exceptional challenges. The first challenge is variety and breadth. Food and beverage labs need to monitor a wide range of samples throughout their lifecycle, from unprocessed ingredients through to final products which are already released into the worldwide market.

Next, the testing itself varies widely from commercially significant qualitative checks (“Does this product look and taste the way it should?”) to safety-related quantitative queries (“Is this product free of contaminants?”).

Lastly, these labs need to evolve alongside ever-intensifying regulations. The U.S. FDA’s 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) introduced more regular, closer, inspections, demanding better data monitoring and tracking. Other organizations such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the World Health Organization (WHO), also contribute to a network of stringent regulations.

Food and beverage labs have more responsibility than ever to tightly manage ingredient, intermediate, and finished product quality from start to finish in this environment. These three broad challenges cause immense complexity. LabVantage Food and Beverage helps to mitigate that complexity. From initial product intake through distribution and post-release testing and compliance, this purpose-built LIMS provides for every requirement of a food and beverage lab.

An Accurate and Efficient Way to Capture Results from Instruments

The platform integrates with all of the common food and beverage testing instruments, including pH meters, chromatography systems, and balances. An automatic bidirectional data flow frees analysts from manual entry and so decreases any risk of human error, while ongoing monitoring alerts managers when an instrument requires maintenance, re-certification, or calibration.

Test for Product Shelf Life

To ensure consistency and give analysts added assistance, the LIMS automatically issues an alert when it is time to pull samples for testing. A built-in stability module helps the labs to plan, monitor, and analyze product quality on a schedule which has been predetermined, in numerous environmental chambers.

Schedule and Monitor Microbial Testing

The platform includes a ‘Manage Incubation’ module, which is configured to track incubation datasets and alert analysts when a sample is ready for testing.

Trace Batch Genealogy in Case of a Recall

The ‘Sample and Batch Genealogy Viewer’ monitors which sub-lots have contributed to a composite product. For example, this feature tracks which vats were involved if a food production facility has combined several vats of butter in a single package run, giving managers and analysts precise visibility into product lineage.

Consistent Environmental Monitoring

The platform includes graphical observations of sample collection sites, and helps to schedule and monitor samples over numerous surfaces and locations.

The Accelerated Implementation Experience

Selecting a purpose-built LIMS means much of the background work is done before you even start, without sacrificing compliance, consistency, or performance. It is like strapping a rocket booster to the implementation process.

Maintain Regulatory Compliance

The platform dynamically builds detailed audit trails which are required by the FSMA and other regulatory agencies, ensuring ongoing compliance, through automated data capture.

Minimize Product Loss

Real-time reporting functions and detailed traceability give managers clear visibility into each product’s lifecycle, helping them identify and correct deviations which can lead to expensive waste and loss of materials and time.

How the LabVantage implementation process compares to a typical implementation experience is detailed below.

A Typical LIMS Implementation LabVantage LIMS Implementation
Minimum 12 months to deploy Deploys in as few as three months
A massive up-front investment drives this deployment process, which begins with a detailed discovery and documen-tation of user needs and progresses through multiple design iterations and testing phases. Heavily customized and configured systems introduce risk and its corresponding compliance requirements, necessitating a significant investment in validation and test planning.

Once fully customized and compliant, the system is ready for use – but only after a significant investment in training for all users and administrators. Training time-lines are contingent on the complexity of customization and are often a significant factor in typical deployment costs. When updates are required after deploy-ment, the vendor must be involved for specialized customization and/or installa-tion, further adding to the costs and time required to maintain performance.
Because this system is already configured for your industry using established industry best practices, the implementa-tion process is much more efficient. Data templates are integrated and the products and functions most commonly relied upon by industry-specific users are engaged and ready. If further configu-ration is required, the system’s modular design is easily adaptable without code; ongoing updates and enhancements require no specialized skill or outside management.

Use LabVantage to Run Your Digital Enterprise

Industry-wide, every successful laboratory functions at the nexus of technology and talent: the right people utilizing the best, most streamlined tools. LabVantage is essential to that winning formula as it is the market leader in efficient and modern LIMS solutions. Some reasons are outlined below.

The Most Secure and Best Technology in the Industry

Labvantage Solutions’ feature-rich LIMS is fully web-hosted, providing networked users with access to the same information from one easy-to-use, secure system – whether they are in another country or the same lab. The system is hosted in the cloud or on-premise and also connects labs with third-party contributors outside of their firewall such as research organizations or manufacturing partners, permitting harmonized data input using a single platform.

A System that Adapts to Your Requirements – Without Code

The purpose-built LIMS features a modular design that invites further adaptation and configuration without needing specialized coding skills. Users are able to rely on our global professional services team, or configure their platform themselves; both scenarios decrease the effort, cost, and complexity of further testing and compliance.

A Fully Interoperable Experience from Beginning to End

Labvantage Solutions’ system interconnects your processes within a single, central hub, so that any documentation produced during early R&D explorations is consistent throughout manufacturing and final quality assurance testing. So no more siloed informatics systems for individual use cases within a product life cycle. The result is a more efficient lab with fewer opportunities for risk, leading to better overall business performance.

A Professional Support Team in Lockstep with Your Requirements

From deployment through to validation and ongoing monitoring, Labvantage Solutions has a worldwide professional services team of business analysts, solution engineers, and project managers to provide consistent and top-rated support services.

They seek to become more partner than vendor through their managed services. For example, their team will frequently optimize, monitor, administrate, and enhance your system, giving you greater confidence and more control over your labor and IT costs.

Conclusion

LabVantage Food and Beverage helps labs to maintain efficient testing and compliance throughout the worldwide food chain. Optimize your food and beverage testing lab with the entirely web-based, full-featured, informatics platform designed specifically for success in your industry.

References and Further Reading

1. Gartner, “Hype Cycle for Life Sciences, 2018”, Published 25 July 2018, Analyst(s): Stephen Davies, Michael Shanler, Jeff Smith

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by LabVantage Solutions, Inc.

For more information on this source, please visit LabVantage Solutions, Inc.

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