Institut Kirchhoff Berlin GmbH

Undesired substances

The term undesired substances relates to all substances that were not deliberately added to the foodstuff, but which are present in foodstuffs as residues. They can be divided into contaminants as well as food-borne substances. Contaminants can enter the particular foodstuff during production, processing, packaging, transport or storage. Alternatively, they can enter the foodstuff as a result of impurities in its environment (for example mycotoxins, mineral oils, polycyclic aromatic carbohydrates (PAC). Food-borne substances form during the manufacturing process (eg 3-MCPD ester, acrylamide).

Analysis technology

In order to be able to guarantee a broad spectrum in the form of multimethods (eg mycotoxins) and high sensitivity for low detection limits (eg PAC), our premises are equipped with state of the art analysis technology. For sample extraction and purification, among other things, this includes ASE, GPC and online SPE. Our analysis equipment includes: HPLC FLD (including Kobra® cell), LC-MS/MS, LC-GC-FID, LC-GC-MS, GC-MS, purge and trap GC-MS, GCxGC-TOF (MS), IPC-MS and AAS.

Range of analyses

Issues that currently arise, such as for example pyrrolizidine alkaloids, are actioned by the expert staff in our research and development department; quickly and efficiently and using the appropriate accredited analysis methods. In the framework of ongoing partnerships (for example with the companies Axel Semrau and Biotez), our research and development department develops and continuously improves new methods for expanding our range of analyses and the automation of sampling and purification.

Each year, we examine around 6,000 samples of toxins, about 21,600 samples of heavy metals and about 10,000 samples of food-borne materials and other contaminants. Depending on the matrix, different parameters are analysed, especially cocoa/chocolate products, grains and grain products, fats/oils, edible nuts and packaging. As well as the analyses we carry out, we also offer an appropriate legal assessment of the sample being examined. In doing so, we take into account legal requirements as well as the client’s own specifications.

Quality assurance

In order to improve our performance, we regularly take part in round robin tests with the widest range of providers (including FAPAS, Bipea, LVU). As such, about 50 round robin tests for the most important parameters in the respective relevant matrices are processed. Furthermore, in 2013 we organised a round robin test for mineral oil analysis (MOSH, POSH, MOAH). Analysis was carried out in 17 different national and international laboratories. The matrices inspected were chocolate, rice, hazelnut oil plus a piece of recycled cardboard.

Publications and latest announcements

We publish the ongoing expansion of our range of analyses and changes in regulations/maximum amounts under Latest. Under Downloads you can find customer information sheets concerning current analyses and the parameters used.

Below follows a list of the parameters that we test:

Biogenic amines

  • Histamine
  • TVBN
  • Putrescine
  • Cadaverine
  • Spermine
  • Spermidine
  • Tyramine
  • Agamantine
  • Phenylethylamine
  • Tryptamine


  • Aflatoxins B1, B2, G1, G2
  • Aflatoxine M1
  • Deoxynivalenol (DON)
  • Fumonisins B1 and B2
  • Ochratoxin A
  • Patulin
  • Zearalenone (ZON)
  • Nivalenol
  • T2-HT2 toxins
  • Diacetoxyscirpenol (DAS)
  • Fusarenon toxins
  • 3- and 15-acetyl DON
  • Citrinin



  • Aromatic carbohydrates (BTXE = benzene, toluene, xylol, ethylbenzene), styrol
  • Volatile halogenated carbohydrates (VHHC), CFC, haloforms
  • Solvent residues (eg dichloromethane, n-hexane)
  • Mineral oils (MOH=MOSH, POSH and MOAH)
  • Pentachlorphenol (PCP)
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), terphenyls
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH)
  • Pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA)
  • Tropane alkaloids
  • Plasticisers
  • Melamine
  • Furan
  • Nitrate and nitrite
  • Perchlorate, chlorate
  • Quaternary ammonium cations

Heavy metals/Metals

  • Aluminium
  • Arsenic
  • Lead
  • Cadmium
  • Chrome
  • Copper
  • Nickel
  • Mercury
  • Uranium
  • and others on request


  • Caesium 134 and 137

For more information on this topic, our regularly trained staff would be pleased to assist.

© Institut Kirchhoff Berlin GmbH

Site notice

Data Privacy Policy

Terms of Business


Institut Kirchhoff Berlin GmbH
Oudenarder Straße 16 / Carrée Seestraße
13347 Berlin-Mitte

You reach us via

Telephone: +49 (0) 30 457 98 93-0
Fax: +49 (0) 30 457 98 93-555
E-mail: ed.ffohhcrik-tutitsni@BKI

Office Hours

Monday - Friday 8:00 - 18:00 Uhr
Saturday 8:00 - 14:00 Uhr