Next Generation Sequencing

Improve food authenticity, traceability and safety. 

Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) analysis is a new and fast solution to identify food fraud and verify authenticity, at the same time, improving traceability and food safety. Within just one day, NGS makes it possible to identify all the species contained in a food sample, against a database of 15,000 species (mammals, birds, seafood, fish, plants, microbes and allergenic species).

variety of tomatoes
variety of tomatoes

NGS Method

The NGS method is based on DNA analysis through DNA sequencing and produces millions of individual DNA sequences all grouped in a single file. With NGS different DNA sequences can be produced from different DNA templates without affecting the final result.

NGS analysis delivers millions of individual sequences making it possible to identify species in complex foods that contain multiple ingredients. This is because each ingredient will produce a single and unique DNA sequence.

What's in a food sample?

Our NGS DNA diagnostics can identify the biological content of a food sample, processed or unprocessed, for categories including:

  • Meat and poultry
  • Fish
  • Seafood (bivalve, cephalopods, crustaceans)
  • Plants and vegetables
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Spices
  • Bacteria
  • Moulds/fungi
  • Allergenic species

Currently, our meat category includes more than 5,000 species of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. New species and categories are being continually added to the database (algae, insects etc.).

For testing, a food sample may contain one or more ingredients, and can be analysed as raw, processed (including canned), or pre-prepared on a petri dish for microbiological testing. En route to our laboratory, food samples do not need to be temperature controlled.

For microbiology purposes, our NGS analysis can deliver fast identification of organisms (alive or dead).


The food industry loses some $10-15 billion annually to fraud. At a time when food crises, allergens and fraud are increasing consumer awareness of the potential risks in the global food supply chain, NGS DNA testing can deliver:

  • New powerful solution with virtually unlimited results
  • Fast turnaround time
  • Competitive pricing
  • Very sensitive analyses
  • Full biological breakdown
  • No false positive results 

For example, if a hamburger claims to be “100% beef”, SGS NGS analysis will quickly provide information on all the meat species which are present in the product. Related services on the market requires a sample to be tested against a list of other known meats.

Protect your operations, customers and consumers; employ NGS DNA analysis to test for and highlight meat and seafood substitution, as well as allergen contamination in a cost-effective and timely process.

Testing service and kits

Our specialist molecular laboratories accept samples from around the world, supporting food and feed businesses to identify all the species present in food and feed samples. Complementing our extensive global network of ISO 17025 food testing laboratories, our NGS DNA testing laboratories are located in Europe, North America and Asia.

For organisations with in-house capabilities, we have also developed a range of All Species ID test kits. All Species ID Meat DNA Analyser, Fish DNA Analyser and Plant DNA Analyser give you the same testing capabilities and access to our extensive databases of DNA sequences for many thousands of species.

All Species ID test kit users benefit from the constant evolution of this new and innovative database as our research center adds new sequences on a regular basis.

Supporting the above services, we also provide training courses to ensure your team has the skills and expertise to prepare samples for external testing, or conduct testing and evaluation in-house.

Discover our services across your industry.

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