What We Do
We provide forensic agricultural laboratory testing, certification and training services to various regulatory divisions of the Department and others as provided by law. To accomplish this mission, the laboratory has two sections, Food Safety and Chemistry.
Food Safety Services
- Dairy Product Quality - Tests dairy products to assist regulators in enforcing quality standards.
- Entomology - Provides limited insect identifications to assist in preventing harmful pests from becoming established in Arizona.
- Food Safety & Meat Microbiology - Tests meat, ready to eat products and other commodities for bacterial contamination.
- Plant Pathology - Provides DNA-based plant disease identification aiding in the prevention and remediation of plant disease outbreaks.
- Seed Quality - Tests commercial seed properties to assure consumers are getting label guaranteed quality.
- Feed and Fertilizer Products - Tests retail and agricultural products to determine compliance with label guarantees.
- Natural Toxin Residue - Tests human and animal feed products for the presence of naturally occurring chemicals capable of causing illness.
- Pesticide Formulations - Determines compliance of pesticide products truth in labeling through the analysis of retail and restricted use pesticides.
- Forensic Analysis - Analyzes samples collected during investigations for regulatory enforcement.
The State Agricultural Laboratory provides for the mandatory certification of laboratories providing agricultural laboratory services to agencies and departments of this state or its political subdivisions, including those laboratories that are a part of a state agency or department or a political subdivision of this state. You can see a list of currently certified labs here: SAL Certified Labs
Scientists from the State Agricultural Laboratory (SAL) are certified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as Laboratory Evaluation Officers (LEOs). As such they provide FDA mandated audits and inspections of dairy testing laboratories which provide certain types of testing. When compliance is reached, the laboratories achieve Approved status for such testing. You can see a list of all labs which are currently approved by the SAL LEOs here: SAL Approved Labs
The State Agricultural Laboratory is certified by the Association of Official Seed Analysts (AOSA) for the provision of seed testing services. We currently provide seed testing when it is necessary for the export of seed products. For more information or to see if we can accommodate your seed testing needs, contact David Mills at 602.744.4915. Our current price list can be found here:
Who We Are
Laboratory Director: Doug Marsh
Laboratory Business Manager: Lynn Korn
Quality Assurance Manager: Dominique Ramirez
Food Safety Section Manager: David Mills
Chemistry Section Manager: Theresa Crisostomo
AZDA Science Photo of the Month
SAL scientists validate a new testing method to determine if it can reliably extract the residue of a pesticide of interest. The dark substance in the bottom of the test tubes above is soil and the clear fluid (supernatant) above the soil is a solvent containing the pesticide residue. Further clean up steps follow before analytical instrument analysis is performed to determine the identity and amount of the pesticide present in the original sample.
This particular test is a variant of the QuEChERS method. QuEChERS is a solid phase extraction procedure which can be quickly adapted for many of today's pesticides. QuEChERS is a portmanteau word for "quick, easy, cheap, effective, rugged, and safe".
(Photo by Paul Cook)