Inorganic Analysis and References Laboratory


What we eat and drink on a day-to-day basis has a substantial influence on our health and wellbeing. We have to assume that the food we eat meets health standards and is safe to consume. We have to trust that the required hygiene standards are met during the production, processing and storage of the food in order to minimise any potential health risks. The monitoring and analysis of food and drink empowers us to make confident well-founded decisions about healthy nutrition.

Our Inorganic Analysis and References department offers services that enable industrial companies, research institutions and administrative departments to perform accurate, traceable measurements. We ensure that these measurements are comparable by aligning them with internationally agreed reference values.

We are committed to the continuous development of new analysis methods – and the improvement of existing ones – to ensure that we provide high-quality and efficient analytics. Our Inorganic Analysis and References laboratory and Chemical Tests and Consultancy department are both accredited to the SN EN ISO/IEC 17025:2018 standard (accreditation number STS 0119).

We continuously undertake research and development projects to ensure we keep up with the latest developments and can further improve the measurement options we offer.



We investigate the following analytes in food as well as biomarkers in blood, serum and urine:

  • regulated toxic elements (Pb, Cd, As, Hg)
  • macro-, micro- and trace elements (e.g.Ca, Mg, Na, K, P, Se, Zn, Fe)
  • speciation of arsenic
  • nitrate and nitrite
  • biomarkers in blood, serum and urine (e.g. Se, Pb, As, Zn, I)

We work on behalf of the Swiss Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office as a recognised reference laboratory for toxic elements and nitrogen compounds (NRL-MN). (Link)

Although we primarily work for administrative bodies within the Swiss federal government, anyone who is interested in our expertise in traceable analytics (including trace analytics) may request our services. We use the SI system to ensure traceability to metrologically traceable refence materials so that we can guarantee long-term comparability and quality of the measurements. We are a reliable partner and service provider, and are passionate about promoting the value of metrology.

If you have any questions about our services or would like a consultation, please get in touch. We will be happy to help and provide a no-obligation offer.

Research and development

We keep our measurement facilities and capacities in line with the latest advances in technology by means of research and development projects. This enables us to continue offering the services you need and foster innovation over the long term. We collaborate on these projects with other metrology institutes in Europe (EURAMET) and around the world (BIPM). Our laboratory offers internships and Bachelor's and Master's thesis opportunities in association with Swiss universities.

Our R&D focuses on:

Metrology in food safety

Toxic elements in foods are unwanted substances that may enter food accidentally, for example during the production process. These elements are toxic enough to be harmful to our health and therefore require particular attention in analyses. We use highly accurate measurement tools and processes to ensure the traceability of toxic elements in food and food matrices in accordance with internationally agreed reference values. This all takes place within the context of various projects in collaboration with the Swiss Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office and in our role as a reference laboratory.

Last modification 18.07.2024

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Federal Institute of Metrology
Inorganic Analysis and References Laboratory
Campus Liebefeld
Schwarzenburgstrasse 165
CH-3003 Berne-Köniz
T +41 58 387 01 11

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