Articles

The Benefits of ICP-MS for Dietary Supplements and Food

ICP-MS

The Benefits of ICP-MS for Dietary Supplements and Food

There is nothing more expensive for a company than a recall. Public safety issues cause recalls. When recalls happen, the brand owner eats every cost associated with producing and distributing their product. For food, dietary supplements, and cosmetics, recalls occur when the product contains harmful microorganisms or heavy metals.   In addition, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires nutritional labeling on dietary supplements and packaged foods. Products can be recalled if nutritional labeling does not match product contents. Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) analysis is the best method for determining inorganic content, including major and trace concentrations of minerals and...

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Identity and Concentration Testing with HPLC

HPLC

Identity and Concentration Testing with HPLC

High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), formerly referred to as high-pressure liquid chromatography, is a technique in analytical chemistry used to separate, identify, and quantify each component in a mixture. It relies on pumps to pass a pressurized liquid solvent containing the sample mixture through a column filled with a solid absorbent material. Each component in the sample interacts slightly differently with the adsorbent material, causing different flow rates for the different components and leading to the separation of the components as they flow out of the column.

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Viscometer Testing

Viscometer Testing

We love liquids. Water, coffee, syrup, shakes. Though they flow freely and have a set volume, liquids do not have a set shape. Some food products and cosmetics may appear solid. However, they contain liquid properties that are vital to customer experience. These products are considered viscoelastic products.    Take butter, cream cheese, and the filling in protein bars as examples. Even gummy bears cannot hide their liquid properties when a bag of them is left inadvertently in the sun on a warm day.   Often, we think of viscosity as a measurement of a liquid’s thickness. We understand honey is a...

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Water Activity vs. Moisture Content

Water Activity vs. Moisture Content

Water is everywhere and in everything. About 71% of the earth’s surface is water. The human body is composed of roughly 60% water. Plants, animals, and microbes all require water to live and grow. Hence, knowing the amount of water in a product helps predetermine the product’s stability, shelf-life, processing, and microorganism growth. With its charged molecular structure, water readily bonds with other asymmetrically charged molecules. However, water is not stuck in a bond. It readily dissolves bonds, too. Especially if a more attractive bond is close by or if conditions are right for water to change state like moving...

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Moisture Content Test

Moisture Content Test

Moisture content is a basic indicator of quality. In agriculture, it indicates soil productivity: In lumber, wood workability. And in foods, dietary supplements, and cosmetics, it is a quality control indicator of product stability, shelf-life, processing, and labeling requirements. Is there a difference between water content and moisture content? Generally, no. For most purposes, moisture content refers to the total amount of water (unbonded and bonded) in a product sample. Water’s chemical makeup allows it to readily bond with asymmetrically charged molecules, including other water molecules. Water molecules bonded together are free moving or active water. Water bonded physically to...

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