Campden BRI will analyse imported goods for HMRC as part of a three-year contract.

It will analyse food and non-food products imported into the UK from outside the EU and provide specialist consultation services to HMRC.

Its findings will affect how a product is classified, so that HMRC can apply the correct tax or duty. The work could lead to unsafe products being withdrawn and destroyed.

Some of the common items sent for analysis include tea, wood, tropical fruits, cakes and vodka. Campden BRI can also be called as an expert witness for HMRC during court proceedings.

Julian South, head of chemistry and biochemistry at Campden BRI, said: “We are honoured to have been appointed UK scientific analysts by HMRC, a status which we have now held continuously for 11 years.

"This reflects both our investment in state-of-the-art equipment and techniques to ensure our laboratories remain at the cutting edge and our commitment to developing and extending the expertise of our analysts and other scientists.”