This powerful technique allows otherwise undetectable adulterations to be uncovered, helping to protect businesses and consumers. However, the LC-IRMS analytical technique that this method relies on has historically been fraught with difficulties, due to the short maintenance cycles and significant instrument downtime. Despite these issues, Intertek is measuring approximately 15,000 LC-IRMS samples a year, maintaining a reliable and fast service for customers via supplementary instrument capacity and work assignments over weekends.
Facing these conditions, Intertek sought a more robust 24/7 instrument to reduce production costs and downtime, which is why the company was keen to take part in the beta test for Elementar’s first LC-IRMS prototype, the iso CHROM® LC, in 2017. The iso CHROM® LC is part of the BiovisION Honey LC-IRMS system which was adapted and specifically tailored, in close cooperation with Intertek, for the needs of a high-throughput analytical laboratory with a focus on honey and syrup samples.
The iso CHROM® LC uniquely utilizes high-temperature combustion for the conversion of separated carbohydrates to CO2, rather than the wet-chemical oxidation technique that Ms Burmester and her team had been using for several years. After the careful testing and evaluation of every aspect of the iso CHROM® LC, the team came away extremely satisfied by the instrument’s performance, recognizing the opportunity it provided to implement a significantly more robust system for the Intertek laboratory.
Speaking about her experiences using the iso CHROM® LC installed at Intertek, Ms Burmester said:
So far, the Elementar LC-IRMS instrument has been very impressive for C4 and C3 honey adulteration analysis. The high-temperature combustion method means that no aggressive chemicals such as sodium persulfate are required, which can lead to blocked tubes, noisy baselines and instrument downtime.
The instrument hardware is easy to maintain and offers automatic routines for performance checks running overnight. We are now much closer to running samples 24/7.