Chemical analyses

Before sending samples to chemical analyses, concur with the contact person on the matter.

Authenticity and allergens

Evira investigates the authenticity of milk and meat products, and performs determinations of animal species and investigates contaminations of food and the raw materials of these. Production errors generate unintentional food frauds and contaminations. A food allergen entering a product by mistake might cause unexpected reactions in an allergic person. Evira analyzes food for allergenic proteins in, e.g., milk and eggs.

Contact person: Pertti Koivisto tel. 040 481 1595

Chemical elements

Evira analyzes food for chemical elements: harmful heavy metals (arsenic, mercury, cadmium, chrome, lead, nickel, tin), and nutrients and micronutrients (calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese, sodium, iron, selenium, zinc).Such analyses are to ensure food safety.

Evira carries out recurrent studies for heavy metals, on tissues from production as well as wild animals. Studies for heavy metals present in wild animals provide a view of the state of the environment and of possible changes that have occurred.

Contact persons: Eija-Riitta Venäläinen tel. 050 434 8378, Tarja Kousa tel.  040 824 3086

Harmful chemicals

Food may contain compounds detrimental to the health of the people. These might for various reasons have entered the food, e.g., via environmental contaminations of methylmercury in fish, or transferred from food packaging materials such as bisphenol-A in canned products. Food may also accumulate harmful compounds such as PAH compounds, furan, acrylamide and acetaldehyde. during production process. Typical project procedures in Evira carry out studies on novel, possibly harmful compounds in food.

Mould toxins

Mycotoxins are poisonous compounds generated by particular moulds. Typically, Fusarium moulds produce trichothecenes and zearalenone whereas Penicillium and Aspergillus moulds produce ochratoxin A.

Generally, bread grains and grain-based food are being analyzed for mycotoxins. In addition, pork kidneys are being analyzed for ochratoxin A and milk for aflatoxin M1. Evira serve  as national reference laboratory for mycotoxins together with Customs Laboratory. Evira also contributes to a number of national and international projects for studying mycotoxins. 

Hormones and other prohibited substances

Evira analyzes food of animal origin for drug residues, under the annually executed national programme for monitoring foreign substances, and food imported from third countries. Certain hormones can be used to treat individual production animals under the veterinarian control, but use of hormones to advance their growth is prohibited in Finland and all other EU countries. Evira chemically analyzes for:

  • stilbenes and its derivatives
  • thyrostatic substances
  • natural and synthetic steroid hormones (for example, estradiole, testosterone, nandrolone)
  • beta-agonists (for example, clenbuterol, salbutamol)
  • chloramphenicol, nitrofurans, nitroimidazoles


Analyses are done for approx. 40 prohibited substances.

Residues of pesticides, and PCB

Evira systematically monitors environmental toxins accumulated in food as well those in tissues from production animals and wild animals. Monitoring prevents contaminated food from reaching consumers and provides information on the state of the environment and on changes that possibly have occurred because of the environmental toxins.

Contact persons: Kati Hakala tel. 040 489 3404

Drug residues

Evira analyzes food of animal origin under the annually executed national programme for monitoring foreign substances, food imported from third countries, and self-monitoring samples from production plants for drug residues. Such analyses are to ensure that food does not contain of drug residues exceeding the approved maximum amounts. Analyses are done for approx. 70 substances. Such are, for example:

  • antibiotics
  • antiparasite drugs
  • coccidiostats
  • carbamates and pyrethroids
  • tranquilizers
  • non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • corticosteroids

Evira chemically analyzes, for example, the following antibiotics used to treat animals: aminoglycosides, beta-lactamases, chinolones, lincosamides, sulfonamides, tetracyclines

Contact persons: Erja Lindfors tel. 0400 275 459, Anneli Niemi tel. 040 489 3413 , Leena Saari tel. 040 489 3416

Main components

Evira performs investigations related with the composition and quality of food. Food samples are being analyzed for main components (water, dry matter, protein, fat, ash).  Samples are also analyzed for salt content, lactose, lactate, nitrite and micronutrients, fatty-acid composition, fat quality, cholesterol content, and biogenic amines, for example. These investigations are part of Evira’s operations as a national reference laboratory.

Contact persons: Tiina Ritvanen tel. 040 489 3415

Studies for pesticide monitoring and registration

For the purposes of registering pesticides and the needs of market monitoring, Evira analyze the contents of active substances in ingredients are and carry out certain physical tests. Samples from field-testing of pesticides are analyzed for residues. These activities have GLP approval.

Contact person: Kati Hakala tel. 040 489 3404 Vitamins

Evira analyzes food samples for fat-soluble vitamins (A, E, D, K), and thiamine. Generally, such analyses of vitamins are carried out within research projects studying the physiological and pathological effects of vitamins and the lack of them on animals.

Contact persons: Mervi Rokka tel. 0400 622 371   

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