May 23, 2024

How Food & Beverage Manufacturing Labs Leverage LIMS

Table of Content

Food and Beverage Laboratory

A Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) significantly enhances the way that food and beverage manufacturing labs collect, monitor and analyze data. A LIMS facilitates efficient laboratory processes via the management of samples and associated data beginning at login and following through to testing, reporting and final dispensation. This ensures that analytical resources have been best utilized to maximize productivity and efficiency.  

Some LIMS features that food and beverage manufacturing labs leverage to generate high-quality data, while facilitating regulatory compliance goals are detailed below.

Workflow Management:  

The process begins with sample login, where unique IDs are assigned for tracking and linkage to associated Containers and Aliquots. Bar coded labels are often generated at login and subsequently placed on the container(s) to facilitate tracking, and/or update storage locations to streamline the Chain of Custody, via the use of bar code scanners.

Automatic assignment of all appropriate Tests, Methods, Parameters, Sites, Consumables, and other relevant information during sample login is supported using pre-defined Projects. However, users with appropriate permissions can add/remove additional tests and make other updates as needed. Alternatively, login may be completed ad-hoc for one or more samples.  

Once login is complete, a worklist of samples and related aliquots can be created, scanned via bar code, and sent to the instrument controller, minimizing human input. Tests and associated quality control are then run, and results are electronically imported back into the LIMS from instrumentation. Analysts may review all results prior to uploading them into the LIMS. The use of worklists streamlines the results entry process and minimizes the risk of transcription errors.  


Results are then reviewed/validated and approved by appropriate staff members, and the associated reports, such as Certificates of Analysis (COAs), QC Results, Invoices, etc. can be configured to auto-generate. These reports may be sent to a user or external client/vendor via email or distribution list. Additionally, an integrated customer portal can allow non-LIMS users to access this information directly, via any browser. Reports are published to the portal, and users can view, download, and print the information when convenient.  A LIMS enhances communication not only across laboratories, but across global organizations with multiple sites, ensuring effective cooperation and relationships between vendors, production teams and customers.  


Dashboards provide a medium for easy monitoring of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). They provide the ability to view a variety of metrics, including the number of samples that have been run for a product, statistical process control charts, instruments in service for workload management, and supplier performance in any given period.  

LIMS Dashboards


Beyond sample management, LIMS have evolved exponentially to support other business functions including communications with internal and external business systems such as ERP, MRP, MES and accounting solutions. LIMS also provide the ability to conduct shelf-life studies and skip lot testing, manage formulations and monitor competitive data analysis. Additionally, field and plant data collection may be supported using tablets and smartphones.  

Corrective and Preventative Actions:

Labs are required to document any non-conforming work and to develop preventative or corrective action plans (CAPAs) to minimize the risk of recurrence. CAPA records can be created in the LIMS to track the activities involved with initiation, investigation, and resolution of such actions.  

Environmental Monitoring:  

Environmental monitoring is another feature of many LIMS solutions, which allows for integration with sensors that monitor temperatures for freezers and incubators, along with other ambient conditions. These data points can be stored in the LIMS based on predefined workflows to ensure readings are not missed. If there are any alarming readings, instant notification can be provided to the team by text, phone call and/or email. This rapid response offers the opportunity to put corrective actions into place. In the case of a shelf-life study, if an incubator fails, an alert can be sent after one out-of-range temperature measurement, allowing the problem to be corrected and the study saved, versus starting over.

LIMS Benefits for Food and Beverage Manufacturing Labs

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