2016 Environmental Measurement Symposium

NEMC-PhotoRebecca Smith and David Mazawa hopped on a quick flight down to John Wayne Airport earlier this month, but they weren’t heading to Disneyland!  Pickering Laboratories, Inc. was proud to sponsor and exhibit at the 2016 Environmental Measurement Symposium, which is the combined meeting of the Forum on Environmental Accreditation and the National Environmental Monitoring Conference (NEMC).  This year’s meeting was held at the Hyatt Regency in Orange County, CA, a short five minute drive from the happiest place on earth.  Not that we took the time to ride the Matterhorn… We were hard at work, of course!

When not enjoying conversations with customers and attendees at our booth, we attended many enlightening talks which covered all ranges of topics from medical marijuana to metals speciation…  Additionally, the focus this year on Citizen Science was particularly engaging.  Rebecca learned that 15% of people living in the U.S. are drinking unregulated water – private wells are much more prevalent than she previously thought!  And one speaker in particular was even able to directly tie in Pokemon Go!

Rebecca and David presented a poster on Glyphosate Analysis in Soy Beans, Corn and Sunflower Seeds which had been a big hit at the North American Chemical Residue Workshop in Florida.  They found, however, that the booth raffle for a Kindle Oasis was a much bigger draw than the poster presentation!  Attendees had three days to enter their business cards for the raffle, and during lunch on Wednesday we had our fabulous booth neighbor Bridget Wallace at XOS draw the big winner…

The winner of our Kindle Oasis raffle was Houri Mandjikian from LA Department of Water and Power. Congratulations Houri!  She was able to pick up her new Kindle Oasis at the booth during our sponsored afternoon break on Wednesday.  Thank you to Houri and all of our participants in the raffle.

So, with NEMC 2016 wrapped up, you’re probably wondering what we’re up to next?!

Rebecca will be heading to St. Louis next month to participate in the ACIL Annual Meeting.  She’s looking forward to seeing some of you there… and getting a chance to watch the St. Louis Cardinals on their home field!  (Her grandfather is a huge Cardinals fan from his childhood.)

David is looking ahead to AOAC International 2016 and taking a trip to Dallas.  He and Mike Gottschalk will be there, along with our AOAC-involved chemist Maria Ofitserova who always has a busy schedule during the meeting.  Maria recently had her Theanine method accepted as an official AOAC method, so I am sure she will be excited to answer any questions about it!

We hope to see you at one of our next shows!


North American Chemical Residue Workshop (NACRW)

NACRWThe North American Chemical Residue Workshop (NACRW), formerly the Florida Pesticide Residue Workshop, was held in St. Pete’s Beach, Florida.  For the 52nd year, professionals met to discuss the latest trends in analysis of pesticides, veterinary drug and other chemical residues.  Matrices of interest included food, animal feed and environmental samples, and everyone came to learn and share the latest in residue analysis.

This year, the big topic was the pending testing regulations for pesticides in cannabis.  The United States now has 33 states that have legalized either medical marijuana or recreational marijuana, and many of these states are moving towards the adoption of these new regulations.  Along with this increasing availability of cannabis products comes the need for regulation and assurance of safety from pesticides residues.  Some states are modeling the regulations closely to tobacco standards, while other states have chosen alternative paths towards formulating their regulations.

Glyphosate has been in the news lately because glyphosate residue is showing up in finished food products.  In addition, European testing has found glyphosate in drinking water and the urine of many citizens.  Consider that the World Health Organization (WHO) recently decided to classify glyphosate as a probable carcinogen and the increasing interest in glyphosate testing becomes even more understandable.  

At the NACRW conference, there was considerable interest in Pickering Labs’ method for glyphosate analysis because it is robust, established and economical.  Our poster actually generated so much interest that we needed to reprint more application handouts at the hotel copy room!  That’s a nice marketing emergency to have!

Glyphosate Analysis in Soy Beans, Corn and Sunflower Seeds

AOAC International Conference

aoac-2016The AOAC International Conference caters to chemists and analytical professionals from around the world. This year the meeting is in Dallas, Texas from September 16-24, 2016. Pickering Laboratories will be showing our latest applications and products at our AOAC exhibition booth #308. We are also a corporate sponsor and a contributor to several committee meetings throughout the year. Our commitment to AOAC is reflected in the nay products and methods we offer that follow AOAC methods and guidelines.

This year, Maria Ofitserova will be presenting her work on the analysis of Theanine in tea, dietary ingredients and supplements by HPLC with post-column derivatization. This method was developed in response to a call for methods issued by the Stakeholder Panel on Dietary Supplements (SPDS). The post-column Theanine method has undergone Single Laboratory Validation (SLV) and has met the standard method performance requirements set up by the SPDS. In August 2016, Pickering’s Theanine method was evaluated by an Expert Review Panel (ERP) and approved as an AOAC First Action Official Method! The method and the results of single laboratory validation are in print and will be published in the Journal of AOAC International later this fall. If you are attending the show, don’t miss our related talk on Monday morning September 19th at 8:00am!

Following the trend of more testing for glyphosate, we are presenting a poster on Glyphosate Analysis in Foods. The Pickering post-column method was used to expand our application for Glyphosate Analysis in Soy Beans, Corn and Sunflower Seeds to also include oats, wheat flour, eggs and other food matrices. Improved sample clean-up procedures allow for preparing samples for injection in half the time. See our expanded application in our poster presentation on Tuesday, September 20th.

Glyphosate is one of our classic applications, and as discussed in this quarter’s NACRW article, it has become very popular again due to the recent discovery of glyphosate in finished food products and urine of consumers. Find our previous newsletter article on the subject here: FDA Announces New Glyphosate Testing in Food.

Maria, Mike and David hope to see you at the upcoming AOAC International Conference in Dallas. Please stop by and say hello, or wave to Maria if you see her at her presentation Monday or at one of the expert panels she belongs to!

Chromatography Quiz #24

Chromatography Quiz #23 Results

bosePickering Labs would like to congratulate our winners of our last newsletter’s AAA quiz: Wanda Ingersoll from Mississippi Public Health Lab, David Green from Pepperdine University Natural Science Division, Narjes Ghafoori from LA County Environmental Toxicology Lab, and Helene Lachance from Shur-Gain Nutreco!  

They have each won and will shortly be receiving: a Bose SoundLink Color Bluetooth Speaker! A lightweight-compact wireless speaker in a stylish-vibrant color! Connect to any bluetooth device and take your tunes to go! We hope our quiz winners enjoy their prizes for the remainder of the summer and beyond!

Thank you all for your submissions! 



The correct answer to the Polyether Antibiotics Analysis quiz:

It was beautifully answered by one of our winners. Here is their response:

Multiple Choices:

A) Bad lamp

B) Reference Wavelength

C) Sampling rate

D) All of the above

“This appears to be a really bad choice of reference wavelength. The vanillin absorbs like crazy from 200-350 nm. At almost 60g/L the reference absorption will be topped out at >4AU. No DAD detector I know of can handle this. The noise is simply the remaining electronic noise from the 360 nm (plus bandwidth) diodes on the array. The solution is to move the ref wavelength out to, say, 600 nm since the antibiotics probably don't absorb there or, better, turn off the ref wavelength, acquire and store whole spectra, and do post-processing after the analysis when a clear region of the spectrum can be found.”

Chromatography Quiz #24: Glyphosate Peak Shape

What caused the bad Glyphosate peak shape in the troubleshooting (red) chromatogram below?  Simply email your answer as well as your full contact information to Rebecca at rlsmith@pickeringlabs.com by October 1st, 2016 in order to win.  You will receive email confirmation that your submission has been received.  The answer to the quiz and winner congratulations will be published in the next issue (to be anonymous, please notify Rebecca in submission). 

Glyphosate Analysis – Bad Peak Shape

Pinnacle PCX post-column instrument is being used, in a traditional HPLC setup as recommended by Pickering Laboratories.  The reference (blue) signal and troubleshooting (red) signal are overlaid in the chromatogram below.  The quiz question: what is causing the bad peak shape?  

Hint: Please assume the same reagent, column, and method are being used for both chromatograms.

Normal/reference post-column conditions for glyphosate analysis:
Reagent 1: GA116 – hydrolysis reagent
Reagent 2: GA104 with OPA and Thiofluor
Reactor: 36 °C, 0.5 mL
Reagent flow rate: 0.3 mL/min
Injection volume: 100uL







Unusual Matrices, Interesting Conferences

By Saji George

Herbal Products

Unusual-MatricesConsumer use of herbal supplements for wellness has been increasing in recent years, according to the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA).  Their website is the self-proclaimed voice of the herbal and botanical products industry, and an excellent resource for laboratories interested in providing testing services to this growing market sector.  At the Supply Side West show, they held numerous committee meetings (Analytical Laboratories, Personal Care, Sports Nutrition and Cannabis to name a few) where solutions to various industry issues are discussed http://www.ahpa.org/AboutUs/Committees.aspx.

The show was held this March at the Anaheim Convention Center, and I attended on behalf of Pickering Laboratories.  Both the exhibit show and committee meetings were very informative.  This is a good place to taste-test the concoctions that are displayed at local stores but you always hesitate to buy because the components fail to excite the imagination. Consider it the test drive of the products that are so good for you. While there, I also explored new frontiers in herbs and botanicals, and listened in on the industry’s expanding conversation on pesticides, mycotoxins and adulterant.  If you are interested in more information about analytical testing in herbal matrices, please visit www.pickeringlabs.com/library/method-abstracts-2/#food to learn more.


aatccThe International Conference of the American Association of Textiles Chemists and Colorists (AATCC) was held at Williamsburg, Virginia in April.  This show has three interest groups: chemical applications, concept-to-consumer and materials. The chemical applications group focuses on applying chemicals to textiles to add additional function (such as adding wrinkle free, anti-microbial and anti-mosquito, or flame retardant properties).  Concept-to-consumer focuses on the path from design to retail (such as balancing between design and quality, using conductive thread for sewing, or digital textile printing). Finally, the materials group focuses on latest innovations in fibers (such as solar textiles, smart textiles or novel synthetic turf infill).  To learn more about smart textiles, try this link http://www.rle.mit.edu/fabric/ or you could find those and other videos on YouTube.

So, why did Pickering Laboratories send a chemist to AATCC when we have no direct involvement in the textile industry?  Our product testing solutions are used every day in testing these textile innovations!  A popular artificial perspiration we offer is the AATCC Method 15 formulation, which is used for testing the colorfastness of fabric to perspiration or to a combination of light and perspiration.

For this and other formulations, visit www.pickeringtestsolutions.com and view our complete product testing catalog, or just explore the many different types of consumer products and tests that get performed everyday with artificial perspiration on products you purchase as a consumer!

Larger Formats Abound!

By Rebecca Smith

Seen here posing with our new Artificial Perspiration carboys![/caption]Pickering Laboratories has again increased our Product Testing Solutions offerings to provide even more options and savings to our customers!  As our products continue to gain in popularity, we are increasingly getting requests for larger volume bottles and bulk purchases.

David Mazawa, Technical Support Chemist for Pickering Labs. Seen here posing with our new Artificial Perspiration carboys!
David Mazawa, Technical Support Chemist for Pickering Labs. Seen here posing with our new Artificial Perspiration carboys![/caption]

Larger sized bottles are now available of our new Artificial Sebum, giving customers the choice to purchase as 25 grams or 200 grams per bottle.  The new 200g bottles, part number 1700-0702, will provide significant savings over purchasing large amounts of Artificial Sebum in the smaller bottles (part number 1700-0700).  This product is available off the shelf, as inventory permits.

Our AATCC Test Method 15 Artificial Perspiration is a very popular formulation, particularly as the stabilized version with two years shelf life.  We currently offer this stabilized formulation in our standard 200mL bottles (part number 1700-0015), and as a case of 4 x 950mL bottles with part number 1700-0541 for larger volume users. 

It is with much excitement that we now offer the ability to order stabilized AATCC Test Method 15 Artificial Perspiration in even larger volumes!  By purchasing one of our new 19.8L carboys, our customers can save significantly on their large volume purchases.  Carboys of AATCC Test Method 15 stabilized sweat, part number 1700-0555, are available now as a made-to-order product.

These carboys, which hold almost 20 liters in a single container, are available for any customer wishing to purchase stabilized artificial perspiration in bulk volumes.  Please contact support@pickeringlabs.com for more information on bulk volumes of your artificial perspiration formulation of choice.

New Pickering Test Solutions products:

1700-0702            Artificial Sebum, 200g

1700-0555            AATCC Test Method 15 Artificial Perspiration, stabilized, 19.8L

Also feel free to visit our webpage at www.pickeringtestsolutions.com for more information.  Thanks!



FDA Announces New Glyphosate Testing in Food

Maria Ofitserova Ph D. – Pickering Laboratories

Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is the most widely used herbicide in the world. In the US, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates Glyphosate and sets residue limits for different crops as well as drinking water.  Recent research, however, has raised concerns about Glyphosate safety and its prevalence in the environment.  The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) rated Glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans” and several studies, including one conducted by Germany’s Federal Environment Agency (UBA), have indicated a massive increase in the number of human urine samples contaminated with Glyphosate over the last 15 years.

The increased use of Glyphosate has been studied as well. According to Bill Freese, a science policy analyst with the Center for Food Safety, 50 times more Glyphosate is allowed on corn grain now than was allowed in 1996.  The US-EPA has also increased what it considers to be a safe amount of Glyphosate exposure by a factor of 17.  The EPA's high-end estimate of infant exposure to Glyphosate exceeds the level considered safe for them in 1983, Freese adds.

GlyphosateAs the scrutiny of Glyphosate grows in the United States, a U.S. Government Accountability Office report has criticized the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for not sufficiently monitoring residues of the chemical on foods. This February, the FDA announced testing of Glyphosate in foods including soybeans, corn, milk, and eggs. Meanwhile, consumer groups, academics and testing laboratories have claimed to have detected Glyphosate in breast milk, honey, cereal, wheat flour, soy sauce, and infant formula as well.

The herbicide registration renewal of Glyphosate in the European Union was questioned due to mounting evidence of chronic human exposure and insufficient safety data, especially in children, and a suspected link to cancer.  As of now, the decision on relicensing has been postponed.  Several EU members, such as France, Sweden, Netherlands and Italy, have indicated opposition to renewal of the 15-year license.

With this growing international concern about Glyphosate, additional regulations from the US-FDA and international regulatory agencies are possible in the upcoming months and years.

Pickering Laboratories has over 30 years’ experience manufacturing and selling instruments and reagents for Glyphosate analysis in accordance to the US-EPA Method 547 for Glyphosate Analysis in Drinking Water as well as the AOAC Method 991.08 for Glyphosate Analysis in Environmental Waters. These HPLC methods are based on post-column derivatization technology with florescence detection.  The AOAC Official Method 2002.52 for Analysis of Glyphosate in Crops describes easy clean-up procedures that are successfully combined with Pickering Laboratories’ post-column derivatization for analysis of Glyphosate in crops such as soy, corn, alfalfa, and sunflower seeds as well as vegetables such as tomatoes and broccoli. The analytical method is sensitive and selective, and it can be easily implemented in any laboratory. For further details visit our webpage at: www.pickeringlabs.com   

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