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A blog on the latest applications, articles, & research on chromatography solutions in sample preparation, Ion Chromatography (IC),
High Pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), Ion Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (IC-MS), Gas Chromatography (GC),
Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS and GC-MS/MS), and software (Chromeleon CDS, LIMS, and ProteinCenter).

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What Threatens your Heart More? Saturated Fat or Refined Carbohydrates?

  
  
  
  
  
  
fat content determination method

Like many others, I too have been following the ongoing story on the relationship between dietary fats and increased risk of cardiovascular disease not only from a personal standpoint but also from a chemist's perspective trying to find sample preparation solutions for challenging food matrices like extracting fat from processed foods like chocolate before analysis (link to downloadable PDF on method). In previous decades, the connection between dietary fats and increased risk of cardiovascular (link to peer-reviewed study) has been extensively studied and because of these studies, limiting saturated-fat consumption has been a long-standing dietary mantra for the past 30 years. But, recent meta-analyses of nearly two dozen studies, suggests that we may have picked the wrong culprit to reduce from our diets for decades. Processed carbohydrates, which many Americans eat today in place of fat, may increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease more than fat does—a finding that has serious implications for new U.S. dietary guidelines expected this year.

How much Hexavalent Chromium is in our Drinking Water?

  
  
  
  
  
  
hexavalent chromium in drinking water

Hexavalent chromium has been in the spotlight for many years due to its toxicity, prevalence in our water bodies, and popularization by the movie industry in the film, titled, Erin Brockovich (link to Wikipedia page).

Wine Testing: Arsenic, Analysis and a Classic Movie

  
  
  
  
  
  
arsenic analysis in wine

“For a gallon of elderberry wine, I take a teaspoon full of arsenic then add half a teaspoon of strychnine and then just a pinch of cyanide,” says one of the adorable maiden aunts in the classic movie Arsenic and Old Lace (link to brilliant youtube clip) starring Cary Grant. You could be forgiven for thinking the recent news stories on trace element arsenic in wine came straight from this 1940s dark comedy but unfortunately it did not; this is an extremely serious food safety testing matter that has resulted in a lawsuit being filed.

Your Elemental Analysis is Costing you More Than you Think: Part 2

  
  
  
  
  
  
trace elemental analysis

In the second part to my three-part series on trace elemental analysis, I want to address automated, intelligent liquid dilution that can provide two benefits, namely, a reduction in costs and a speeding up of analysis resulting in increased productivity. In my previous blog post, titled, Your Elemental Analysis is Costing You More Than You Think: Part 1, (link to post) , I discussed the advantages in using a switching valve to introduce samples using a segmented stream instead of a continuous flow stream.

Effect of Sample Dilution on Matrix Effects in Pesticides Analysis

  
  
  
  
  
  
pesticides analysis in food

I recently read a publication that appeared in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (Yang et al, published ahead of print on January 25, 2015), titled, Effect of Sample Dilution on Matrix Effects in Pesticide Analysis of Several Matrices by Liquid-Chromatography−High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry, (link to article abstract). This in-depth evaluation of the effect of sample dilution on matrix effects in pesticide residue analysis is an excellent read and was coauthored by Paul Yang from Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, Jon W. Wong, Kai Zhang, and Alexander J. Krynitsky at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Jian Wang at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and  our very own James S. Chang and Maciej Bromirski.

Authenticity of Dietary Supplements in Question: A Recall in New York- Part 2

  
  
  
  
  
  
dietary supplement recall

On Feb 5, 2015 I wrote a blog post, titled, Authenticity of Dietary Supplements in Question: A Recall in New York, (link to blog post). Now, I have a part 2 of this story, in that the State Attorney Generals from the States of Connecticut, Indiana and Puerto Rico along with New York have formed a coalition to expand the herbal supplement industry investigation (link to story).

To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate? But, What About Cancer Vaccines?

  
  
  
  
  
  
Measles Cell

As a former drug-formulation chemist, I have been following the debate and discussion around the recent outbreak of measles in the U.S. among unvaccinated individuals with deep interest because I wonder if this turning away from vaccines could also mean that such individuals may turn away from other vaccines, such as those for preventing cancer. It is commonly understood that it is better to prevent disease (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web link) than to treat it after it has occurred. (By the way, the stunning image is of a measles cell.)

Microcystin Prevalence and Analysis – Is a Regulation on the Horizon?

  
  
  
  
  
  
analysis of algal toxins in water using hplc

Microcystins, a class of toxins produced by freshwater cyanobacteria, have been very much in the news for many years and are now a global issue, as described in an article on research conducted into the presence of cyanobacteria in the coastal areas of Lake Baltic (link to abstract; only the abstract is free). There have been several outbreaks in the U.S. too, for example, there was a record outbreak of blooming microcystins that occurred in Lake Erie in 2011, in part related to the wettest spring on record, and resulted in expanding the lake bottom dead zones, reduced fish populations, fouled beaches, and negatively impacted the local tourism industry that generates more than $10 Billion USD in revenue annually. In 2013, a water treatment plant became so overwhelmed by the microcystins in the water that it was shut down. Again, in 2014, about half-a-million people in the state of Ohio in the U.S. were without drinking water due to high toxin levels from algae on Lake Erie while others were put on alert before the ban was finally lifted.

A Chemist, a Biologist and a Systems Architect walk into a bar…

  
  
  
  
  
  
biopharma development (2)

... and none of them could understand what the others were saying.

Who Put Butter in My Beer?

  
  
  
  
  
  
analysis of vicinal diketones in beer

On a recent visit to the local pub with some friends for our ritual of beverage testing, specifically beer, we had a strange encounter. When the drinks were taste tested, two of my friends commented on the buttery taste of their beer. And even though each of us was accused of playing a prank on the others and we all denied it, it certainly didn’t spoil a great evening.

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