22 Oct 2015

FODMAP testing - what's involved

Mr Alex Bogatyrev, research scientist assisting with the analysis of FODMAPs in food
By Dr Jane Varney (Research Dietitian)

The Department of Gastroenterology at Monash University are leaders in the FODMAP analysis of foods. With over 10 years of experience performing this detailed analysis, we have a team of highly skilled staff and a laboratory equipped with state of the art equipment that enables us to provide you with the most accurate and comprehensive data regarding the FODMAP content of food. This article provides you with an abbreviated description of what is a laborious, expensive testing process, each food taking 2-4 weeks to analyse in our lab! See also the photo gallery.

Firstly, we must source the food samples for testing. In accordance with Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) guidelines, for processed foods this means sourcing 3 samples from different manufacturers, while for fruit & vegetables it means sourcing samples from 10 different stores (5 supermarkets and 5 greengrocers)!


Next we prepare the food samples. This involves freeze drying food samples at very low temperatures.


To ensure the samples are of a uniform consistency, they are then milled to a fine powder.


The next steps involve extracting short chain carbohydrates; measuring fructan content, and measuring other FODMAPs using liquid chromatography.


Once we have all the FODMAP results from our lab, a dietitian determines the serving sizes that would be considered low (green), moderate (amber) and high (red).

So there you have it. It’s an exhaustive, labour intensive process, but absolutely necessary to enable people like you to manage your IBS symptoms on a low FODMAP diet. We’re constantly undertaking FODMAP analysis on new foods, so keep an eye out for app updates!

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