Cottage Foods - pH Testing

Food safety is at the heart of the trust your friends, family, and valued customers put in your products. One of the key indicators of whether your pickling process is working as you intend is pH testing to measure the acidity of your finished product. 

Although foodborne botulism is rare, it is commonly associated with homemade pickled fruit and vegetable products that have pH levels specifically above 4.6 because these levels create the perfect environment for harmful toxins to grow and when consumed can cause foodborne botulism. The chance of this occurring can be greatly minimized by having your pickled fruit and vegetable products tested. 

If you choose to have your product tested, the results will validate your standardized, personal, or family recipe(s) and verify a finished equilibrium pH of 4.6 or below. Results will be mailed directly to you and will confirm if your recipe is just right or prompt you to make adjustments to assure the safety of your product for your customers. 

We currently offer free pH testing for Cottage Food producers who make the following products: 

Chutney
Kimchi
Pickled fruits
Pickled vegetables
Pickles
Relish
Sauerkraut
Vinegar (fruit/vegetable)

Free pH testing for pickled fruit and vegetables made by cottage food producers is now being offered on a first-come, first-served basis. To participate, please visit:
 
At your own expense, you can submit your samples for pH testing to the Laboratory for a fee of $16.50 per sample. Contact the Laboratory Services Division for more information:
 
 
What type of buffer solutions do I need to use to calibrate my pH meter?
Follow the instructions in your pH meter user manual. Buffer solutions must be labeled as intended for use with food. This must be clearly stated on the solution specifications and or label. Buffer solutions that are solely “lab grade” are not sufficient to calibrate pH testing equipment that will be used to test food.
 

How long do pH testing buffer solutions last?
Buffer solutions are labeled with an expiration date and should not be used passed that date. Using expired buffer solutions can result in measurement errors.