NMi and Legal Metrology in Food Infrastructure

NMi and Legal Metrology in Food Infrastructure

16 May 2023

May 20th marks World Metrology Day and the 148th anniversary of the signing of the Metre Convention

The theme for World Metrology Day 2023 is Measurements Supporting the Global Food System. The joint OIMLBIPM initiative chose the theme because of the increasing challenges of climate change and food distribution in a world whose population reached 8 billion at the end of 2022.

Across the globe, metrology institutes and approval bodies like NMi continually advance measurement science by developing and validating measurement techniques and instruments to ensure the reliability of measurement results worldwide.

As a leading independent specialist in legal metrology in Europe and a trusted brand globally, NMi has a long-standing history of providing accurate and reliable measurement services across a wide range of industries, including the food and beverage sector. As a result, we play a crucial role in ensuring the food and drink we consume meets safety and declared quantity regulatory standards in Europe, the UK and even abroad.

Our experienced engineers and technicians specialize in testing, inspecting, certifying, and calibrating (TICC) measurement devices and systems. These experts work closely with measuring device manufacturers, food producers, processors, packagers, and retailers to promote sustainable and efficient use of resources and help ensure products comply with EU, UK and international standards and regulations.

Weighing instruments used in food production

In food processing, weighing, and measuring instruments such as scales, balances, and meters determine food products’ weight, volume, pH, and temperature. These instruments must be certified for use in the EU and UK and calibrated regularly to meet the legal requirements set by the EU and UK to ensure accuracy and reliability.

NMi is an independent specialist for training, testing, certification, and calibration and is the leading Notified Body in Europe for measuring and weighing instruments such as dynamic weighing systems and flow meters according to the Non-Automatic Weighing Instruments (NAWI) 2014/31/EU and Measuring Instrument Directives (MID) 2014/32/EU.

Within the Netherlands, Approved Verifiers in the food and beverage industry are audited annually by NMi to ensure that they carry out their verifications in accordance with the Dutch Metrology Act/Law.

Post Brexit, NMi also serves as a UKAS Approval Body for weighing instruments according to UK Non-Automatic Weighing Instrument Regulations (NAWIR) and Measuring Instrument Regulations (MIR). Additionally, as an OIML Issuing Body, NMi also provides OIML test reports for broader international use.

Packaging of food products

NMi also provides conformity assessment services for food packaging, ensuring that they comply with legal requirements, including:

  • e-marking,
  • maximum permissible errors, and
  • minimum capacity.

Our services help ensure consumers are not misled by inaccurate labelling or packaging.

Furthermore, as supermarkets look for ways to increase their sustainability efforts and cut down on unnecessary packaging, they increasingly embrace the use of e-marks to produce more efficiently and with less loss of product and fewer resources. Many now also explore the introduction of refill stations into their stores. These stations allow consumers to bring and use their containers to fill for the purchase of dried goods such as pasta, cereal, and nuts.

With the range of package-less products expanding, weighing procedures take on an added importance. NMi uses high-standard testing equipment, such as digital balances and volumetric measures, that help manufacturers respond to this growing need for accurate and reliable weighing scales.

Our calibration services ensure that weighing instruments used in the food industry meet the required accuracy and reliability standards, ensuring that the weight indicated by the machine and the price consumers pay for a product is as accurate and fair as possible.

Volume capacity serving measures

NMi also provides calibration and verification services for capacity serving measures used in the food industry, such as dispensers and pumps to serve liquids or semi-liquids in specific quantities. Our calibration services comply with the requirements of the EU and UK MID and MIR for measuring liquids, such as milk, beer, and wine, as well as other products that require specific quantities for accurate dispensing, such as sauces and syrups.

We ensure capacity serving measures used in the food industry meet the required accuracy and reliability standards, assuring that the quantity of the liquid or semi-liquid dispensed is accurate and reliable.

To conduct these conformity checks, we use high-standard testing equipment, such as calibrated volumetric flasks, burettes, pipettes, and weighing instruments with high accuracy to ensure accurate measurements. NMi also verifies the functionality of the dispensing equipment to ensure that they operate correctly and do not cause spillage, leakage, or other issues that could affect the accuracy of the measurement.

NMi @ work in the food system

NMi contributes to fairness in trade and consumer trust in the food industry. Our work in weighing instruments, food packaging, and volumetric measures – plays a critical role in ensuring the safety, accuracy, and reliability of food products consumed in Europe, the UK and beyond. Our expertise in legal metrology and comprehensive range of services help ensure food producers, processors, packagers, and retailers comply with legal requirements and provide consumers with accurate and reliable information about the products they purchase.

Contact us today to learn more about how NMi leverages legal metrology to support our food system.


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