European Union (EU) research network Eureka has developed a software tool called an ‘uncertainty manager’, which can help food manufacturers manage unpredictable results when testing products for additive concentration, drug residues and other microbiological issues.

Because of many variables, from human error to prevailing weather, results can vary, even for the same test, on a single foodstuff. So, the software allows users to input measurement equations, manufacturers and types of measurement tools, sample preparation conditions, types of calibration, environmental conditions and the standardisation of test methods.

The software then provides analysis of factors potentially responsible for uncertainties, helping food companies interpret test anomalies.