Due to the complex nature of food chemistry, a wide variety of techniques are utilized by laboratories for both R&D and quality control. High throughput capability, sample preparation, headspace, Solid Phase Microextraction (SPME), automated method developed with the ability to automatically change the SPME fiber all enable the chemist the tools they need to profile samples in the food laboratory.
Sample preparation can be a limiting factor on how many samples can be run in a single day and can often be tedious and be a cause of repetitive motion syndrome in laboratory technicians. The fully programmable Flex autosampler can perform many of these routine tasks, protecting the analyst from injury and toxic solvents while providing improved %RSD and high throughput.
Due to its robustness, Headspace (Link to What is headspace page) autosamplers such as EST Analytical’s Flex, are commonly used to evaluate aroma profiles of manufactured goods and competitors’ products. Since only volatile components are injected in to the GC, non-volatile residues which can cause maintenance issues and instability remain in the vial making headspace is a very robust technique.
The Flex’s SPME (Solid Phase Micro Extraction) (Link to the What is SPME page) option is more selective and sensitive that headspace analysis, but can come with its own challenges. Capable of both volatile and semi-volatile analysis, method development decisions include incubation time and temperature, extraction time, chromatographic conditions and most importantly SPME fiber type. Conditions must be very well considered to eliminate possible thermal degradation of target analytes before analysis.
Purge and trap and Dynamic Headspace systems such as the EST Evolution 2 and Centurion, offer automated, very sensitive techniques that can provide trace level, reproducible analysis on a wide variety of matrices. By sweeping and concentrating the volatiles from a given sample onto a trap, PPT levels of volatile compounds can be analyzed.
No matter what your GC application, EST analytical has a wide variety of solutions and application assistance to ensure your success. When it comes to food analysis, the complex nature of the matrices and resulting chromatography can be difficult. We will listen and understand your needs and design a plan for your specific samples to help you meet your goals.