Belfast, Northern Ireland based Bia Analytical Ltd. adds Thyme to their expanding authenticity testing portfolio. Building upon a successful year of product launches, the company now offers a range of herbs and spice authenticity tests to help in the fight against food fraud.
Thyme, a member of the mint family Lamiaceae and a relative of the oregano genus Origanum, is indigenous to the Mediterranean region and has a multitude of culinary and medicinal uses. There are around 350 different species of Thyme, however the majority of dried thyme is produced using the genus Thymus vulgaris or common thyme.
Thyme contains high levels of vitamin C, vitamin A, copper, iron, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, and antioxidants like thymol and carvacrol. These compounds may be responsible for many of the herbs reputed health benefits.
Dried whole thyme leaves represent 63% of the total imported dried thyme volume, crushed or ground thyme 29%, while the remaining 8% accounts for dried wild thyme. Over the last five years, the import share of whole dried thyme leaves shrunk while ground or crushed dried thyme gained market share.
Leading EU producers are Poland, followed by Spain, and France, with large volumes also imported from non-European countries with Morocco, Egypt, Turkey, Israel, Syria and Albania all being major suppliers. The huge demand for Thyme makes it vulnerable to economically motivated adulteration using a number of other green leaves such as sumac, cistus, myrtle, olive, and phlomis leaves.
Bia Analytical’s state-of-the-art food laboratories in Belfast use industry-leading, cutting-edge spectroscopy with chemometric analysis testing methods, with a guaranteed three working day turnaround time, to help reduce food business’ exposure to the risk of food fraud.
Bia Analytical now offer rapid authenticity testing for a number of herbs and spices including black pepper, turmeric, sage, paprika, oregano, garlic, cumin, ginger, white pepper, coriander and thyme – with methods for new food groups currently in development.