Problem: The environmental safety and food production industries are facing a rapidly changing climate, being increasingly affected by regulatory and financial pressures. Development and expansion of their portfolio of chromatography techniques, to develop and maintain a competitive edge, can be expensive in terms of the laboratory downtime and consumables required. A new chromatography method needs to be tested and validated for use on existing instruments, with new or repurposed columns and often with entirely new types of sample matrix. With many environmental and food safety analyses there is a requirement to meet regulatory standards in method sensitivity and contaminant concentration, i.e. EPA Method 1613 Rev.B1. In screening samples for persistent organic pollutants (POPs), for example, scientists must validate and confirm the parameters and results of the method development process, in order to meet the regulatory standards applying to these compounds. This additional process adds to the time taken and expense of introducing the method into the lab. Fundamental changes to the workflow for introducing a new separations technique are needed, therefore, to enable the scientist to reduce the lengthy and expensive method development process.
Solution: Currently, there are few products on the market aimed at improving and enhancing the chromatography workflow to save time and cost. A new range of Thermo Scientific Application Kits has recently been launched to address these issues, by helping to reduce the downtime and expense of developing new chromatography methods. These chromatography Applications Kits provide a complete package for resourcing new separations techniques in an established laboratory. All Application Kits are provided with a column and the chromatography consumables required for the method. Many kits also contain a full written protocol and CD of instrument settings, for download to the instrument computer. Kits are available for a number of LC, GC and MS-linked applications and are designed to ease the transition into the new separation technique.
Workflow for the analysis of POPs, within both food and environmental samples, needs to be rapid and accurate. Separation of these compounds is very heavily regulated and so detection of these compounds needs to be both sensitive and reproducible, to consistently provide high-quality data. Rapid, accurate and sensitive analysis for POP levels is provided for in two Applications Kits, the Thermo Scientific POPs Screening and the Thermo Scientific POPs Confirmation kits. Both kits fully comply with U.S. regulations (EPA Method 1613 Rev.B1) on the acceptable levels of contamination and sensitivity of detection of these compounds.
These kits are fully compatible with existing Thermo Scientific GC or GC-MS systems for the analysis of food and environmental samples. The POPs Screening kit contains a Thermo Scientific TRACE TR-Dioxin 5MS GC column (30mx0.25mmx0.1μm) and consumables, enabling sensitive identification of a broad range of organic compounds in the sample. The POPs Confirmation kit contains a Thermo Scientific TRACE TR-Dioxin 5MS GC column (60mx0.25mmx0.25μm) and chromatography consumables, and is designed to allow accurate quantification of low-level amounts of POPs contaminants.
Resourcing a new methodology in this way, by providing the scientist with all of the protocols and consumables required, enables the set up and validation of a method in a much reduced timeframe and at a lower cost. The chromatography Applications Kits range goes a significant way towards speeding and easing the diversification of methods in established chromatography laboratories. Using the Applications Kits as a resource to increase productivity can provide a very real competitive edge in any industry where chromatography is a core requirement.
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