The PPECB Laboratory has been serving the South African Groundnut industry for over 20 years. The Laboratory, previously known as the Oil Seeds Laboratory, was established in the 1960’s under the auspices of the Oilseeds Board.   In 1994 the Laboratory was privatized but with the closure of the Oilseeds Board in 1997 the Laboratory was transferred to the PPECB. It serves as a central testing facility and is situated in Pretoria. The food safety services of the PPECB Laboratory are illustrated below:




The Laboratory reaches pack houses from Hartswater to ViljoensKroon to Schweizer Reneke to Pretoria by having ‘satellite’ laboratories where 20kg groundnut samples (representative of a 18-20 tonnes groundnut consignment) are processed before being express couriered for extraction, cleanup and analysis at the Laboratory in Pretoria.

The Laboratory strives to function within internationally recognized compliance criteria and show competence, have measures of traceability in place and form part of international proficiency testing schemes to ensure that trade rules and standards are met. In order to achieve this, the Laboratory is ISO/IEC 17025: 2005 accredited (T0248) for chemical analysis since 2005, lending credibility to the accuracy of results generated and ensuring international compliance and recognition.

The Laboratory has six technical signatories and is accredited for the following test methods:

  • Foods, Spices, Beverages & Agricultural products: HPLC analytical techniques: Method LM102 for Aflatoxin B1, Aflatoxin B2, Aflatoxin G1, Aflatoxin G2, Aflatoxin B1+B2+G1+G2 (Total), Aflatoxin M1, Ochratoxin A (OTA), Zearalenone (ZON), Fumonisons, Deoxynivalenol (DON) and Patulin
  • Cereal Products, Nuts and Nut Products /Edible Fats and Oils, Margarine, Pet Foods: Free fatty acids Methdo LM108, Titration.: Peroxide value Method LM106, Titration
  • Quantitative determination of pesticide residues: Agricultural products of plant origin, Method LM 126, GC MS MS

The Laboratory offers the following value propositions to the food and feed industry;

  • The Laboratory offers technical support, relevant information (EU, Codex and South African legislation documents), and advice on interpretation of results.
  • Lead time of 8-24hrs for aflatoxins in groundnuts and 72 hrs for all other service offerings
  • It has the capability of analyzing large volumes (10kg samples).
  • It has the capability of managing the homogenization of samples at slurry points in ‘satellite laboratories’ in different parts of the country.
  • Accredited for the analysis of mycotoxins in spices.
  • Dairy compositional testing with a lead time of 24hrs.

The laboratory has also gone lean and green by implementing JIT and LIMS, uses recycled paper to generate Certificates of Analysis, recycles printer cartridges, paper and glass ware. The Laboratory ensures compliance to good laboratory practises, always endeavouring to continually improve and optimise workflow processes thus re-engineering the way it conducts business.

Contact the PPECB Laboratory at or

Author: Dr D Naicker