Welcome to the Chemist's Corner! 

Current topics, research and aids for analytical chemists

Cannabadiol Analysis

We've had a recent spate of interest in testing formulations for cannabadiol concentration and stability. This is a relatively simple analysis by LC/MS-MS. You have to include analysis of the THCs (delta-8, delta-9 and THCA), especially when you are testing for formulation stability, since one of the known degradation pathways for cannabadiol is to THCA. Since you have to look specifically for THCA you have to use LC-MS/MS. If you choose GC-based methods you can't measure the THCA concentration due to degradation of the compound in the injector port.

Many of the formulations we are seeing are oil-based. These are perfect candidates for accelerated aging analysis. Rather than using the tedious (and long!) ICH-compliant method at 40 C we incubate the samples at a higher temperature and use the Arrhenius equation to calculate stability. This approach allows us to get you stability estimates in as little as 2 weeks as compared to the 6 months using the ICH-compliant test.

FSMA and routine food testing

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is now in effect, being phased in depending on the size of the company. One of the interesting effects of FSMA is that it effectively pushes the responsibility for testing onto the importer. This is a huge change for companies used to dealing with the "red list" and "green list" system that FDA has employed for decades. Companies involved in the importation and/or distribution of food and food products need to begin implementation of their own food quality assurance system, as well as inspection of their suppliers (FSVP). Routine testing for pathogens, pesticides and other contaminants or ingredients will go a long way towards showing inspectors that you take your responsibilities seriously. The other issue raised by FSMA for distributors that has never before been of concern is the ability of the public to directly sue the distributor for failure to comply with FSMA. Again, the best defense against this is routine analysis of products. 

We are always happy to help you set up a quality control testing program for your products. Contact us for more information.

It's Amino World!

OK, we couldn't resist, but it's true! Old standards like total Kjeldahl nitrogen for protein content just are not adequate. Luckily good old HPLC comes to the rescue! With some of the newer multimode columns we can now provide routine amino acid analysis. This is especially useful for helping to detect adulteration of high quality processed protein with inexpensive amino acids, which are designed to "fool" the Kjeldahl method into reporting high protein concentrations. With amino acid analysis you can be certain that your products are reproducible and that you are selling what you are advertising.

Hydrocarbon and water source typing

One of the primary areas of litigation we have been involved in over the past decade involves the use of source typing techniques to determine ownership or origination of hydrocarbons and waters. This involves relative complex analytical and data processing techniques to determine the source of a specific hydrocarbon (for example, in cases involving spills and releases). Multiple analytical methods are typically required to adequately show the source of a hydrocarbon in the environment.

The same approach can be used for water, especially in terms of impact to uncontaminated surface or groundwaters by an unrelated source.

We have been hugely successful in applying multiple analytical techniques along with specialized data analysis techniques to this type of litigation, and have helped win several large judgements or settlements due to our ability to pinpoint sources. Contact us for further information

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