Analyst software improves food contaminant identification

Applied Biosystems and its joint venture partner, MDS Analytical Technologies, have expanded the capabilities of Analyst Software to improve the identification of contaminants in food and water. This mass spectrometry-based solution is capable of identifying more than 600 contaminants in a single analysis.

Among the laboratories using the newly expanded contaminant testing application is Eurofins, a leading international group of laboratories that provides testing services to the food, environmental, pharmaceutical and consumer products industries. By detecting a broader range of contaminants with the new application, Eurofins is obtaining more precise information that improves the quantitative accuracy of contaminant testing results.

‘Expanding the range of contaminants that we can identify is a necessity for us to be able to better inform our customers of the true levels of contamination in their products, so that appropriate action can be taken,’ said Dr Thomas Anspach, a scientist at Eurofins. ‘Applied Biosystems/MDS Analytical Technologies’ contaminant testing application is not just about a larger number of chemicals detected. It is also about greater intelligence for more comprehensive screening to help ensure food and water safety.’

The latest release of Analyst Software – version 1.5 – simplifies the use of mass spectrometry for routine testing of contaminants and various derivatives that may have previously been elusive or missed altogether by other technologies. Mass spectrometry is an advanced scientific technique used to analyse compounds based on their molecular composition. The new application is powered by an innovative feature known as scheduled multiple reaction monitoring (MRM). This is an automated process for scheduling monitoring times to overlap for more efficient screening and quantifying of contaminants. It is a significant advancement over existing methods, which require fixed monitoring times that run in parallel, narrowing the number of contaminants that can be detected in a single analysis, resulting in a slower, less efficient process. The new scheduled MRM capabilities can also be applied for more accurate results in forensic toxicology and clinical research.

The software is optimised for the joint venture’s line of mass spectrometry instrument systems. It features a simplified software interface that deploys the various analytical capabilities of the instrument system, providing quicker access to more accurate results.

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