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Frequently Asked Questions

GENERAL QUESTIONS

Q: What does Medallion Labs offer?
A: Medallion Labs, a division of General Mills, offers multiple areas of expertise for analytical testing and product evaluation for the food and ingredient industry. Our areas of expertise include Chemical Analysis, Nutritional Analysis, Food Safety, Shelf Life Studies, Microbiology, Microscopy, Specialty Fibers, Physical Testing, Allergen Testing, as well as Product Evaluation (which includes Product Performance and Sensory Evaluation) and Technical Consulting/Method Development . Our methods are developed for the testing of food products and ingredients. Not all products are applicable to the methods we run, so please review the Technical Data Sheet for the assay you require, or call our Customer Service team (1-800-245-5615) for more information.
Q: Is Medallion Labs accredited?
A: Medallion Labs is an ISO/IEC 17025 accredited testing laboratory. Our accredited status means that our Quality Management System and in-scope analytical methods meet the stringent requirements of an internationally recognized standard of quality for testing laboratories in the Food and Pharmaceutical industry. Our full scope and certificate of accreditation can be accessed by the Quick Forms drop down menu in the upper right hand corner of this website. You can also obtain the information from our accrediting agency’s website: www.a2la.org - certificate number 2769.01.
Q: What is your turnaround time?
A: Our standard turnaround time is 10 business days for most assays. There are some assays that require a longer turnaround time. We also offer a RUSH service that is half the time of the standard turnaround time of the assay at double the cost of the assay. A few assays that we provide cannot be rushed due to the nature of the test. Please check the specific assay you are interested in regarding the ability to RUSH the turnaround time.
Q: What if I cannot find a particular assay in your testing catalog or on your website?
A: At Medallion, we try to offer the most sophisticated and current testing capabilities, and strive to keep our website up to date with our recent test offerings. If you do not see the analysis you require, please contact our Customer Service team at 1-800-245-5615. If we cannot run the assay you need, we will do our best to recommend you to another lab that can fulfill your request.
Q: What are the methods and detection limits for the assays I request?
A: The methods and limits of detection or quantification for the analyses you request can be found on the appropriate Technical Data Sheets on this website. We make every effort to keep our methods and detection limits up to date according to the latest standards and qualifications. If you have any questions regarding the limit of detection/quantification or method references, please contact our Customer Service team at 1-800-245-5615.

SAMPLE SUBMISSION

Q: How do I submit a sample?
A: Samples should be sent to our address at:

Medallion Labs
9000 Plymouth Ave. N.
Minneapolis, MN 55427
USA

Samples can be submitted in person or through a mail or shipping carrier. The preferred amount of sample to submit can be viewed on the specific Technical Data Sheet for each assay. Make sure to fill out the appropriate submittal form with clear and descriptive information for the sample description, sample ID, and estimates if available. Please include any special handling instructions for preparing, draining, or compositing samples, and any specific information you would like us to know about your samples. You should review the Technical Data Sheets specific to the tests you are requesting, to see if we need any additional information. We recommend that you submit samples that are representative of your lot. If your samples are perishable, we recommend sending them overnight with dry ice or ice packs. Medallion Labs is not responsible for any samples submitted that are compromised during the shipment.
Q: How much sample do I submit?
A: The amount of sample that you should submit depends on the type of testing you request and the sample matrix. On each Technical Data Sheet there is an area that specifically states what the preferred amount of sample is for the assay. Medallion Labs requires at least 200 grams if submitting samples for full nutritional analysis. We recommend that you send a sample that is representative of the product, lot, or ingredient being tested. If you cannot send the amount of sample specified, please contact our Customer Service team at 1-800-245-5615 for assistance.
Q: Should I provide expected levels in my sample for the assays I request if I have them available?
A: Yes, please provide expected levels when the information is available. Medallion provides space on both the analytical and nutritional request forms for input of expected levels. Expected levels are used in the lab as a guide for appropriate sample weights and dilution levels. If expected levels are not known or provided, a delay in turnaround time for certain assays and/or additional costs may apply.
Q: How do I know my samples are received?
A: Once we have received and logged your samples into our Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) database, you will be emailed a Sample Receipt Notification to inform you that we have your submission. Please review this form to ensure all of your sample data (requested assays, descriptions and IDs, as well as testing priority) have been entered correctly. You may also want to track your sample destination through your shipping courier tracking number. If you do not receive a Sample Receipt Notification, and know that your samples are at our facility, please call our Customer Service team at 1-800-245-5615 for assistance.
Q: Can I have any remaining sample returned to my attention?
A: Medallion Labs will return samples to the submitter at their expense. If you would like the samples or shipping coolers sent back to you, please provide us a UPS or Fed Ex shipping number.

ANALYSIS/RESULTS QUESTIONS

Q: How do you report results?
A: Medallion Labs tests and reports all samples on an “as-is” basis. Results can be emailed, faxed and/or mailed to you. Email is the primary format for sending results. If you would like them faxed or mailed please specify on the submission form.

Our Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) will report your results in units detailed in the Technical Data Sheet for the assays you request. All of your results will be reported on one Final Report unless you indicate otherwise on your submission paperwork.
Q: How long will my sample and analytical results be kept?
A: After results have been sent, all remaining sample, will be retained based on the amount of storage space available. Generally, samples are kept up to two months, but if our storage space does not allow, the samples may be discarded sooner. Paper copies of your testing results will be kept in an offsite storage facility up to 7 years after they have been completed.
Q: What if I want a rerun?
A: Medallion Labs does offer reruns to customers who notice a discrepancy in their testing results. Our policy is that we will not charge the customer for a rerun if the second results are outside of analytical variation. If the rerun results come back and are inside our analytical variation, then the customer will be charged. If you believe that you need a rerun of your sample, please call our Customer Service team at 1-800-245-5615 for assistance. Reruns are dependent on the type of testing requested, and the amount of sample that is remaining after the initial analysis. In certain situations, a rerun may not be possible.

ACCOUNTING QUESTIONS

Q: What forms of payment do you accept?
A: Medallion Labs accepts Visa, MasterCard, or check for payments. Please note, for all new customers wishing to pay by check, the completion of a Medallion Labs credit application is required and kept on file. If your company has a preferred PO number that you need to use, we have a credit application that you will be required to fill out and we will keep on file. All PO numbers need to be provided on the submittal form you fill out and ship with your samples. This will ensure that the PO number will be printed on both your Final Report and Invoice.
Q: Do you offer discounts?
A: Medallion Labs does offer discounts. The discounts we provide are reviewed on a yearly basis for sustaining work, or are given to projects that have a minimum of 40 samples submitted. Please contact us if you have questions regarding discounts and we can assist you further.
Q: When will I be invoiced for the services I’m requesting?
A: An invoice for the testing we provide will be generated and mailed the week following receipt of the Final Report.

SHELF LIFE QUESTIONS

Q: How do I get a Shelf Life Study started?
A: Call 1-800-245-5615 to discuss your study with a qualified Shelf Life Representative. We will help develop the study design based on your product needs and prepare a detailed quote for your approval.
Q: What do I need to know to start a study?
A: The more information about your product that you can provide, the more accurately a protocol, pricing and timeline can be provided. If available, please have the following information ready for your discussion with our Shelf Life Representative: product matrix, packaging specifications, mode(s) of failure (such as flavor, texture, rancidity and microbiological factors), estimated shelf life and timeline to start a study.
Q: How soon can I get my results?
A: Throughout the study, we will pull your product and evaluate it for the sensory, analytical and/or microbiological tests determined in the study protocol. The test results will be sent to you approximately 10 business days following the pull date. After all pulls have been completed, we will send you a Final Report. This report includes a technical summary written by our Senior Shelf Life Scientists. If you are in need of results earlier in the study, a Mid-Study Report with shelf life predictions based off of data from the accelerated conditions may be requested for a nominal fee.
Q: How much does it cost?
A: Most of our studies cost between $6,000-$10,000 US dollars for one variant, but that cost varies significantly depending on the length of the study as well as the testing necessary to monitor the mode(s) of failure. Our Shelf Life Representative will work with you to develop a study that maximizes your company’s dollars. Each quote includes study set-up, testing and a final report.
Q: How much sample should I send?
A: During the initiation of your study, the Shelf Life Representative will determine how much product will be necessary. The samples should be in original packaging unless otherwise determined by the representative. An unopened sample will be needed for each pull.
Q: Where will my product be stored?
A: The Shelf Life Representative will help you determine which conditions are necessary to gain the most meaningful data. If you have a specific condition in mind, we do have a few customizable cabinets available, and may be able to accommodate your request.
Q: Can you do accelerated studies?
A: Every Medallion Labs Shelf Life Study includes an accelerated aging component. It is our professional recommendation that both an accelerated study and a real time study be conducted simultaneously. This will help confirm that the accelerated condition correlates to real time.
Q: How are my samples evaluated for sensory attributes?
A: Medallion will evaluate the samples using a degree-of-difference basic sensory evaluation. We will evaluate the aroma, appearance, texture and flavor for each sample. This will give you a score from 1-5 based on the difference the panel identifies between the stored sample and a control sample. The scores are described below.


1 = Same as Control
2 = Slightly different than Control
3 = Moderately different than Control
4 = Large difference from Control
5 = Extreme difference from Control
Q: When should I consider testing the shelf life of my product(s)?
A: You should consider shelf life testing whenever you make a functional change to your product. This could be due to changes in formulation, production/processing, ingredient supplier, packaging and distribution, just to name a few. The best way to answer this question would be to talk our Shelf Life representative to determine the best testing protocol for you product change.
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