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SGS’s standard tests for labeling – including germination tests and TZ (tetrazolium) tests – ensure that your product labels comply with all the appropriate national and international regulations and standards. This not only reduces health risks but also helps to reinforce your reputation in the market.

Our network of laboratories delivers the resources and expertise of a global player at the local level, conducting a variety of tests on different seed types. Our standard tests include:

Mechanical purity testing

Although we adapt this test according to the type of crop under examination, it always involves processing the seed to ensure that the impurities are minimized. We report on inert matter, weed seed, noxious weed seed and other crop seed, helping to raise seed quality and maximize value.

Noxious weed and seed examinations

We adapt this test to the crop under investigation, processing the seed to ensure that the impurities are minimized. This helps to improve seed quality and maximize value.

Germination test

We conduct our germination testing program in accordance with industry standards, including those published by the Association of Official Seed Analysts (AOSA).

Many of our seed germination tests also evaluate seedlings in accordance with the rules of the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) and its orange and blue certification (which relate to the requirements of the importing country/company). We also use the Canadian germination method.

Sand emergence testing

To complement our germination testing, we use sand testing on seeds including corn, soybeans, vegetables, dry beans, rice, canola and cotton. This takes advantage of some of the key properties of sand:

  • Tends to suppress fungal development
  • Provides uniform water uptake
  • Facilitates root growth on damaged seedlings
  • Simulates seedbed conditions for cotton seeds

TZ test

This test provides you with seed viability results extremely quickly – often in less than two days – and is based upon the seed’s activity at a cellular level.

Our labs place the cut or whole seed samples into a colorless TZ solution. After a short period, we investigate the samples to search for staining patterns resulting from respiratory activity. The most viable seeds turn a dark shade of red, while a lighter pink indicates a seed with reduced viability.

Undesirable grass seed search (UGS)

We understand the value of accurate purity and viability tests on difficult-to-test grass species, and focus our efforts on testing the following grasses and legumes:

  • Alfalfa
  • Brome grass
  • Red clover
  • Rye grass
  • Sweet clover
  • Tall fescue
  • Wheat grasses
  • White clover

We also investigate native grasses and forbs including bluestems, coneflowers, grama grass, green needle grass, Indian grass, native legumes, switch grass, western wheat grass and wild flowers.

Contact SGS now to find out how our standard tests for labeling can ensure regulatory compliance and help build your reputation.