Process Authority Services - Disclaimers
Acid(ified) foods analyses are provided as a service through the USU Extension food safety program.  The service only includes: ① reviewing recipes/samples you send to us, ② establishing safe processing parameters, and ③ writing/sending a risk analysis (process authority) letter.

  • Do NOT call.  We are not equipped to man the phones.  Email only.
  • We are SLOW.  We are busy.  We do not have a “staff” of people to help.  We are NOT your food safety or entrepreneurship consultants.
  • We want to help you ensure safe acid(ified) foods.  We want to educate and train you in food safety.  We will help as long as you understand our staff and time limitations.
  • Please allow 1-4 weeks for us to review your products and write a risk analysis letter.  It may take longer! If this is unacceptable – please look for another option.
  • It is acceptable to email once per week to inquire on progress on your product samples.

Food Product Testing
  1. You must have arrived at your final recipe/formulation for your food product.  Be aware that all changes must be resubmitted as a new product ($$).
  2. We no longer sign NDAs —sorry.  Your formulations are used solely to perform a risk analysis and will remain confidential.  We are required to list the ingredients on your risk analysis letter.
  3. Be sure your acid(ified) food product has a safe level of acidity (review criteria here)
  4. Complete the paperwork required for food product submission
  5. Cost | $75 per sample.
  6. Prepare 4-8 oz. fresh product in containers and package to prevent breakage or leakage.  There is no need to send more than 8 – 16 oz. of each product.
  7. Ship samples to Acidified Foods Analysis – USU EXT Food Safety – 8700 Old Main Hill – Logan, UT 84322
  8. You must enclose a check or samples will not be processed.  Make checks payable to USU Food Safety Extension.
  9. Samples will be analyzed and process letter(s) created in 1-4 weeks, during some very busy times at USU, it may take up to 8 weeks (sorry).
  10. Feel free to inquire on your samples at any time after a week has passed.  Email is the preferred method.  Sorry, but DO NOT call and do not email more than weekly for updates.
Food Product Testing FAQs

Q: Why does it take so long?
A: We do this as a service, not as a business.  Many small food businesses cannot find a process authority.  So, we fill that gap.  But testing and process letters are done above and beyond our 100% day jobs.

Q: Do my samples have to be in their original containers and how much is needed?
A: No.  Send them in any container that is sealed and prevent breakage or leakage.  At least 3-4 ounces is needed. Definitely, do not send more than 16 oz containers.

Q: Why is weight in grams preferred and why can't I just send cup measurements?
A: The ratio of ingredients is important to food safety.  When grams are used, it is easy to review formulations.   Providing recipes or formulations by volume is very hard to work with.

Q: Why must I provide the actual recipe and and is it safe with you?
A: It is not possible to establish the safety of a food product without the exact recipe.  You may (encouraged) list dry spices with the exception of salt as “spices”. We no longer sign NDAs (our group cannot sign NDAs on behalf of the university).

Q: I am in a hurry. Will you speed the analysis process up?
A: Generally no.  We are simply not equipped for rapid turnaround.  On occasion rush service may be offered at $150 per sample.

Q: I have a food product with a pH greater than 4.6. Can you provided a thermal process that allows ambient storage?
A: NO.  Foods with a pH above 4.6 (including tea and coffee beverages) are a risk for botulism and need special high pressure processing (like pressure canning).  This is not something a small food manufacturer can tackle on their own. There is one exception.  Foods with a water activity at or below 0.85 like sugar syrups can be heat processed similar to acid foods.

Q: I have a food in oil product. Is that safe?
A: The food in the oil MUST be acidified first.  Often a split sample is needed of this type of food.  A sample of the acidified food (no oil) and a finished sample of the acidified food in oil is required.

Q: What about mustards? I can't heat a mustard (thermally process)?
A: There are some references for safe cold packaging of mustard.

Q: Who owns a process letter?
A: Generally the process letter is specific to the owner of the food product or the rightful owner of a recipe.  If a third party (e.g. co-packer) submits the paperwork and pays for the process letter, then those fees may be passed on to the product owner.  If a product (recipe) owner asks for a copy of their food product analysis, I will provide it to them regardless of who submitted paperwork and who paid for the service.  In a similar vein, a process letter should be written referencing the product owner and not any co-packer or third party.

Q: Are there any other available Process Authorities in Utah or around the country?
A: Utah – No.  Around the country there are some 15-20 that might be available to assist you.  Some no longer provide this service due to the high demand on their time.