A food company received a complaint of insect parts observed in their chocolate chip granola bar. A portion of the suspicious bar was sent to MVA Scientific Consultants with a request that we determine if insect parts were indeed present in the bar.
The partial granola bar was examined using a combination of brightfield reflected light microscopy (Figures 1 & 2) and transmitted polarized light microscopy (PLM) (Figures 3 & 4).
Examination of the granola bar revealed two areas at the open end of the wrapper that appeared to have dark, elongated structures resembling a non-food product.
PLM analysis of sections from those areas revealed that each was composed of cellulose (plant material) with a structure consistent with cereal grain husk. No insects or insect parts were observed on the granola bar.