All posts by Pickering Laboratories

New Employee Spotlight – Luca Nardin

By: Chris Nguyen

Our employee family is growing once again!  Pickering Laboratories is happy to introduce the newest member of our team: Luca Nardin

Luca joined us in August 2022, stepping into his new role as a Production Chemist, with a particular focus on our Reagent manufacturing.  As many of you know, these particular solutions that we sell are always in high-demand, so Luca has been quite busy at the start of his Pickering Labs career!

Outside of work, Luca enjoys hiking, tennis and driving cars.  Like many of his fellow Pickering employees, Luca also has a love of reading.  The particular genre being Fiction and Science Fiction novels.  Luca and his family are from the Venice region of Italy and, maybe owing to this rich historical upbringing, he loves to learn about the medieval and renaissance eras.

Luca is a local product, attending Los Altos High School only 4 miles away from Pickering’s Headquarters in Mountain View.  After high school, Luca matriculated at University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.  As you can see from his photo, Luca is still a big Fighting Illini fan!

Welcome, Luca!

Pickering Introduces NASH Reagents for AATCC Method 206 and ASTM D5910

By: Saji George

Formaldehyde is used in beauty products as a preservative, in the textile industry, in making plywood, composite wood items, adhesives, and many other products. Consumers can be exposed to the chemical in tobacco smoke, construction materials, furniture, carpets, and other household products. Formaldehyde is carcinogenic to humans, causes respiratory problems and skin irritation. It is now in the 20 high priority chemicals list for review by the EPA. In some industries, formaldehyde releasers are used and these slow-release free formaldehyde over time. The free and hydrolyzed forms of formaldehyde can be determined by HPLC method with post-column derivatization.

The Pickering Nash reagent comes in two parts, and can be mixed right before use. We sell two formulations, one according to the AATCC method 206 for colorimetric determination and the other according to ASTM D5910 for free and hydrolyzed formaldehyde for HPLC post-column method.


Sodium Diluent, pH 2.20, 4 x 250 mL PN NA220

After recent research into packaging enhancements, we are now offering a replacement for part # NA220 (Sodium Diluent, pH 2.20, 4 x 250 mL). Effective immediately, we will be discontinuing NA220 and replacing with part # NA220L (Sodium Diluent, pH 2.20, 950 mL). The replacement part number, NA220L, will have the same list price as NA220 and is identical in composition.

Please contact Pickering Laboratories Support at (650)694-6700, (800)654-3330, or if you have any questions.

Obsolete Part # Replacement Part # Replacement Description
NA220 NA220L Sodium Diluent, pH 2.20, 950 mL

Lung Fluid with DDPC Surfactant

By: Maria Ofitserova

As we listen to feedback and engage more with our customers, variations of our current PTS product offering are constantly springing to life!  We have introduced a new Simulated Lung Fluid solution with DPPC Surfactant.   Dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) is a phospholipid and one of the main pulmonary surfactants found in lung fluid. The main function of DPPC is to reduce the surface tension of liquid in the lungs and to help adsorption of oxygen into the air-liquid interface. It is known to be a difficult process to bring DPPC into solution. With that in mind, we offer a synthetic lung fluid with DPPC dissolved and pre-mixed for your convenience:

Chromatography Quiz #40 – Trivia for Pickering’s 40 Year Anniversary (multiple choice)

Announcing our Winners!

Pickering Labs would like to congratulate the winners for our previous newsletter’s Chromatography Quiz:

Jim Balk from Nebraska Public Health Environmental Lab, Mike Klimas from Chromatographic Specialties, Tom Schneider from Suffolk County Water Authority, Narjes Ghafoori from Los Angeles County Public Health Laboratory, Josiah Hakala from Minnesota Department of Health, Jay Phoenix from Chromatographic Specialties and Chantale Parent from Chromatographic Specialties. 

Winners have already received an Autumn Mornings Gift Basket! Filled with cozy bakery favorites!

Congratulations to our quiz winners!  Thank you all for your submissions!

Answer to Quiz #40:

Trivia for Pickering’s 40 Year Anniversary (multiple choice)

  1. When did Pickering Labs move to Space Park Way?
    1. 1998
    2. 1999
    3. 2000
    4. 2001
  2. Michael Pickering was granted a United States trademark for the name_________.
    1. Thiofluor
    2. Mycotox
    3. Trione
    4. Restore
  3. Which of the following was the first “product testing solution” produced by Pickering Labs?
    1. Saliva
    2. Lung Fluid
    3. Urine
    4. Perspiration
  4. Pickering Laboratories won the AOAC Single Laboratory Validation Method of the Year for the following method:
    1. Amino Acids
    2. Ionophores
    3. Cannabinoids
    4. Mycotoxins
  5. Michael Pickering was issued a United States Patent for the following product:
    1. Thiofluor reagent
    2. Ninhydrin reagent
    3. Restore solution
    4. Vanillin reagent
  6. Which post-column system was introduced in the year 2006 as the lower cost option similar to the PCX 5200?
    1. Vector PCX
    2. Pinnacle PCX
    3. CRX400
    4. Onyx PCX
  7. Which year did Pickering move to their current location at 1280 Space Park Way?
    1. 1997
    2. 1998
    3. 1999
    4. 2000
  8. Which year was the Onyx PCX introduced?
    1. 2018
    2. 2019
    3. 2020
    4. 2021
  9. Our Eccrine Perspiration solution was first developed by the request from ______.
    1. Crime and Punishment
    2. Crime Sciences Inc.
    3. Crime Scene Investigation
    4. True Detective
  10. Pickering has been supporting the scientific community for nearly 30 years by continuously exhibiting at the following Conference:
    1. ACS
    2. AOAC International
    3. Florida Pesticide Residue Workshop
    4. Pittcon

Chromatography Quiz #41 – Amino Acids Baseline Noise

What is causing the baseline issues illustrated in the chromatograms below? Pink is a normal chromatogram for comparison.

Submit your answers to by Friday Feb 24th, 2023.

A Long and Fruitful Journey

By Rebecca Smith

It was not largely publicized, but I’ve been pursuing my Master’s degree for the last two years while continuing to work full-time at Pickering.  With graduation from the Executive MBA program at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University now behind me, our team here has encouraged me to share a little bit about my journey.

Me and my fiancé, Paul, at Kellogg’s graduation in late July.

My tale starts in September 2020, when classes kicked off over Zoom (due to COVID-19) and rather inconveniently in the middle of an RV road trip to get our first Swissy puppy, Luna (which you may remember from a prior newsletter article). After seven months of early morning (East Coast start time!) virtual classes, I was able to start flying to the Miami campus for in-person monthly sessions in 2021.   

I’m getting setup for class in the RV, while Paul does his own remote work.

Class in person was amazing, and I don’t just mean in comparison to Zoom.  Dynamic discussions with top notch professors created rich learning.  And being in person finally accelerated my chance to bond with my cohort, who came from richly diverse backgrounds in industry, experience and geography.

Some of the West Coast cohort members, during one of many weekends in the MIA airport!
Doing some group work with my study group in Miami.

After completing core and advanced classes, taking several global electives provided me with an opportunity to mingle across the entire international network of cohorts from each of the seven Kellogg campuses. Marketing, finance and strategy classes provided plenty of opportunities for me to explore how other minds tackle and solve business problems in different ways from my own, highlighting exactly what’s so important in learning to embrace other perspectives.

Immersion in other countries and their business environments also provided unique chances to expand my awareness and find ways to tie in ideas for our small business here.  Marketing and rebranding challenges for a small winery in Portugal are not that dissimilar from what Pickering might experience, after all.  And learning about exporting wine internationally, alongside an international finance class, gave me a new outlook on our own global distribution network.

My elective in Evanston was a brisk experience!
Exploring a different Cambridge than I’m accustomed to…

It was not long before international electives gave way to a final round of advanced curriculum in the spring, followed by Capstone in June and graduation in July.  Our very special work during Capstone provided an opportunity to really stretch ourselves, and to combine knowledge across all the disciplines of prior coursework.  Two of the most dynamic Kellogg professors teach this exceptional class and it is the ultimate way to bring the program to a close. 

During our Capstone was also when I learned that my cohort selected me to prepare and deliver our graduation speech in Chicago the following month.  What an honor, to represent these amazing people!  What a challenge, to figure out exactly what words sum up where we’ve been and where we’ll go next!  (What a nervous wreck I was on the actual day, speaking in front of over 1,000 people!) 

In the end, I felt two topics were the best fit for our cohort: 1) gratitude for our families and supporters who lifted us up during this intense journey; and 2) highlighting the strength of our cohort’s bond and how it inspires and strengthens us to make positive impact in the world, together. Of course, I also threw in a couple inside jokes for laughs and tried for a few sentimental tears while I was up there.

As a newly minted graduate from Kellogg, I feel really grateful for the education I’ve received and connections I’ve made along the way. My EMBA cohort have become lifelong friends and collaborators. My professors have graciously made themselves available for questions or insights since program close. My education has already made a better person, able to lead with new insights.

Finally, I feel so much gratitude for the Pickering staff and the Board for supporting my efforts in adding this new layer of depth and experience to my role here at the lab. Being able to bring back what I learned at Kellogg into Pickering is the entire reason for all this hard work, after all! It will make me better prepared to shape our exciting future and support all aspects of our business.

4-peak Amino Acids Test Mixture in 0.01 N HCl, 0.25 µmole/mL, each (5x1mL/bottle), L-Cysteic Acid, L-Aspartic Acid, L-Threonine, L-Serine PN 1700-0075

Please take note that part number 1700-0070 Amino Acid Test Mixture is obsolete, effective 17 August 2022. A direct replacement is available. The replacement has an additional amino acid, Aspartic Acid, to aid in Onyx PCX and Vector PCX Performance Qualifications for the amino acids method. Cysteic Acid is not retained by the stationary phase so its retention time may be used to troubleshoot void volume problems. The resolution between Threonine and Serine is used to troubleshoot column health and improper fitting placement in your system. See expected chromatogram below.

Please contact Pickering Laboratories Support at (650)694-6700, (800)654-3330, or if you have any questions.

Obsolete Part #

Replacement Part #

Replacement Description



4-peak Amino Acids Test Mixture in 0.01 N HCl, 0.25 µmole/mL, each (5x1mL/bottle), L-Cysteic Acid, L-Aspartic Acid, L-Threonine, L-Serine