AsureQuality has opened a new export wine certification laboratory at its Auckland facility following formal recognition by the NZFSA to analyse wine destined for the EU. The laboratory is part of the recent 819m² refurbishment at the Lynfield site.
Dubbed the ‘wine cellar’ because of its location in the customised basement area of the chemistry block extension, the laboratory is staffed by four former ESR Food Safety Group employees previously based at the ESR Mount Albert Science Centre. Between them, team leader Lesley Standeven-Kim and analyst Suzy Watson have over 30 years’ experience in food and wine analyses; and senior scientist Mike Rush, the former manager of the ESR Food Safety Laboratory, over 40 years’ experience in analytical chemistry. Laboratory technician Emily Chu has a postgraduate diploma in wine science from Auckland University.
The laboratory is already testing a significant amount of New Zealand’s export wine having only opened for business a few weeks ago.
WineWorks, New Zealand’s largest contract bottler, has chosen to partner with AsureQuality to provide its customers with an integrated range of services including export wine testing.
“Following our recognition by the NZFSA to analyse export wine and our subsequent partnership with WineWorks, it made sense for us to develop a new wine laboratory that was dedicated to meeting the industry’s standards and quick turnaround times,” says Scott Leathem, operations manager at the Auckland laboratory.
“The facility is currently receiving wine for analysis each week and has a turnaround time for results of three days. The testing methods we use for the wine export certification programme are all based on the EU reference methods and are NZFSA recognised, which means we can ensure the best results possible for our customers,” says Scott.
The range of analyses for the export certification programme include actual alcohol (distillation / density), total alcohol (sugars / alcohol by calculation), total dry extract (density), titratable acidity, volatile acidity (enzymatic), citric acidity (enzymatic), total sulphur dioxide (Monier-Williams) and total sugars (HPLC). Sorbic acid analyses (HPLC) are also carried out for other non-EU OMARs.
AsureQuality also offers the wine industry a full range of training, auditing and testing services, including NZFSA wine verification audits (for wine standard management plans), BRC, GLOBALGAP, true to label assurance, AsureQuality organic standard, wine laboratory proficiency programme, ISO 14001 environmental management systems, ISO 9001 quality management systems, and carboNZero certification.
AsureQuality is a commercial company providing food safety and biosecurity services to the food and primary production sectors. It carries out food quality and safety testing for producers, processors and competent authorities around the world.