Pittcon 2019: Recap from Philadelphia

By Mike Gottschalk and Maria Ofitserova

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was the site of Pittcon 2019 and Pickering Laboratories was one of over 1,000 exhibitors at the convention center.  As Philadelphia is centered between the New York and Washington D.C., the location brought us close to many of our customers and soon-to-be customers particularly in the pharmaceutical industry. 

Maria, Rebecca and I spent three days exhibiting and providing information on the latest post-column derivatization applications, not to mention showing off all the new products in our Pickering Test Solutions product line.  Our promotional giveaways were a big hit and we greatly underestimated how popular the Pickering yoga mats and exercise balls would be!  Hopefully you stopped by our booth early if you enjoy a good workout while you travel.

We are always pleased by the amount of interested people who stop by to discuss our Product Testing Solutions. We often hear “I didn’t know you made artificial perspiration?”  They will ask us to explain the many types of consumer products that need to be tested with perspiration as well as saliva, urine and other simulated body fluids. You might have noticed that for the last three years, we’ve tried a “sweaty” theme for our show giveaways!  It’s been a great way to promote discussions about product testing and how important it is for almost every industry to evaluate materials with artificial bodily fluids.

One of the new focuses for our post-column research and development has been the growing market for Cannabis related products and the testing of Cannabis.  This field (pun intended?) has shown increasing and sustained interest in cannabinoids and contaminants testing.  There’s good interest in the post-column applications we’ve developed for these matrices, and it reflects the industry demand for verified testing applications.  Highlighted at the show were our applications for the Analysis of Mycotoxins in Cannabis and the Analysis of Cannabinoids in Cannabis and Cannabis-containing Edible Products.

While at Pittcon, we hosted a daily raffle at our booth.  Each expo day, we chose a winner for a pair of Bose “Sleepbuds” – noise cancelling earbuds specifically designed to help the wearer get awesome sleep!  Congratulations to our winners William Collin from General Motors, Brent Hanlin from ALS, and Keith Saroka from the Interboro School District.  This picture really captures how pleased these lucky winners were!

Thank you to everyone who came by the booth to visit with us in Philly this year – we had so much fun chatting with you all!  And of course, if you ever want more information between shows, we’re always adding fun new things to our website and introducing new products in our quarterly newsletter.  Please email support@pickeringlabs.com to discuss any new applications with Maria or another of our amazing chemists!

Welcoming the New Season… and the New Manager!

By Rebecca Smith, Tony McIsaac and Maureen Takagi

Summer is almost upon us and things have been heating up at Pickering Laboratories!  We are so excited to introduce the newest member of our team and talk a little bit about what has been happening behind the scenes here around the lab.

Tony accepting his award for 20 years of service, wife Susan by his side.

Over the last 20+ years, many of our customers, vendors and industry colleagues have gotten the opportunity to know Tony McIsaac, our Vice President of Production.  Tony has long managed our production team and coordinated all things manufacturing at Pickering.  He’s very personable and friendly, so if you ever meet him at Pittcon or when visiting our facility, he might have made an impression (and who could forget that mustache?!).

These days, now that he’s four grand kids deep, Tony has turned his eyes towards coordinating a whole new chapter in his life!  He’s beginning a gradual transition towards retirement, first moving from manager to individual contributor and then from full-time to part-time (come this fall).

Tony hanging out in the sunshine with Severo, Anita, Gabriela and Jay

When a company like ours is lucky enough to have continuity at such an important position for so many years, successfully transitioning to a new manager requires a lot of planning!  Not to mention cross-training!  So, while Tony won’t be fully retiring until 2020, the process of replacing him is already in full swing around here. 

Maureen Takagi, Production Manager Extraordinaire

Enter Maureen Takagi, our newest hire!  Maureen has joined the Pickering team as our new Production Manager and she’s primed to take over Tony’s managerial responsibilities.  Maureen is very experienced in the instrument manufacturing world and has launched right into her new role with a full head of steam!  What an exciting time for our whole company!

Maureen comes to us after a long tenure with her previous employer where she managed a DPSS laser manufacturing group. Professionally, Maureen has a keen interest in continuous

Maureen, seen here getting nowhere fast.

improvement and recently earned her Lean Six Sigma Green Belt.

When not at work, Maureen is teaching Spin® classes and participating in the YMCA annual fund-raising campaign to support youth programs for under-funded families.

We’re hoping to convince Maureen to brave the weather and travel with us to Chicago for Pittcon 2020 next March, where many of our customers and vendors would get a chance to meet her. If you just can’t wait, please feel free to reach out via email or stop by the lab if you’re in the area!


Maureen and Tony, celebrating with gusto in the laboratory (but where’s the PPE?!) … Cheers, you two!

Customer Notification of Summer Hours!

By Gloria Garcia

Pickering Laboratories Will Have Limited Business Hours and Holiday Closure July 1-5, 2019

Please be advised that our annual shutdown for physical inventory and our fiscal year-end will begin July 1st and continue through July 3rd this year. During this period, we will have limited business hours and customer orders received will be scheduled to ship after the completion of our inventory audit. Our shipping department will be entirely closed for Monday July 1st and Tuesday July 2nd and will reopen Wednesday July 3rd during our shortened business day. Rush and emergency orders will be prioritized, so please plan accordingly and place your orders before June 30th for prompt delivery.  We will return to full-time shipping service on Monday July 8th and shipping delayed orders will be our top priority.

In observance of Independence Day, Pickering Laboratories will be CLOSED on July 4th and July 5th. Normal business hours will resume on Monday, July 8th. We appreciate your kind cooperation and our regrets for any inconvenience.

Happy New Year!

The start of the new fiscal year is a cheerful time for the Pickering staff! We celebrate the team’s accomplishments for the previous year and cheers to welcome the new year’s opportunities! Traditionally, we kick-off the new fiscal year with a Fourth of July celebration. We have an onsite outdoor party filled with great food and plenty of team-building fun! This is always a yearly event we all look forward too!

Chromatography Quiz #32

Chromatography Quiz #31: Glyphosate Doublet Peak – RESULTS

Pickering Labs would like to congratulate all of our winners for our previous newsletter’s Glyphosate Doublet Quiz: Jim Balk from Nebraska Public Health Environmental Laboratory, Tom Schneider from Suffolk County Water Authority, Narjes Ghafoori from LA County Public Health Laboratories, and Jiufeng Fan from Glaxo Smith Kline.

Winners will soon receive: An All-New Amazon Kindle Whitepaper!!!  The thinnest, lightest Kindle Whitepaper yet, this waterproof e-reader is sure to help our winners unwind with some beachside or poolside relaxation this summer!  Happy reading!

Congratulations to our quiz winners!

Thank you all for your submissions! 




The correct answers for the Glyphosate Doublet Peak quiz:

The Glyphosate ‘doublet’ is caused by injecting a sample at basic pH.  An improperly buffered sample extract at a large injection volume will not mix with the mobile phase sufficiently to create the acidic pH necessary for Glyphosate to be at the proper single charge state, impacting the interaction between Glyphosate and the active sites on the column resin.  Adding a couple drops of RestoreTM (pH 1.3) to the sample before injection will eliminate the ‘doublet’ and return proper peak shape. 

Chromatography Quiz #32 – I’m not seeing any peaks, Carbamates edition!

Identify the error made when running the Carbamates chromatogram below and win a prize! Simply email your answer and your full contact information to Rebecca at rlsmith@pickeringlabs.com by August 30, 2019 in order to win.  You will receive email confirmation when your submission is received, and the troubleshooting answer and winner congratulations will be published in the next issue (to be anonymous, please notify Rebecca in submission). 

Good Chromatogram
HPLC Flow Rate: 1.0ml/min
Reagent Flow Rate: 0.3ml/min
Column Temp: 42C
Reactor Temp: 100C

Elution order:

Bad Chromatogram
HPLC Flow Rate: 1.0ml/min
Reagent Flow Rate: 0.3ml/min
Column Temp: 42C
Reactor Temp: 36C





Pickering to Attend the Upcoming Emerald Conference

The Emerald Conference has become the largest, most anticipated cannabis conference as it enters its fifth year in existence. The conference will be held from February 27th through March 1st and Pickering Laboratories is attending for the first time. We will be represented by Sareeta Nerkar, one of our research chemists.

Sareeta is looking forward to the beautiful 15-acre Peninsula, Loews Coronado Bay Resort, but her trip to San Diego isn’t all relaxation! She will be presenting posters on Pickering Labs’ cannabis-related applications, both Cannabinoids Analysis in Cannabis and Edibles and our latest Analysis of Mycotoxins in Cannabis Plant and Cannabis-Containing Products.

Hopefully this new conference will be engaging and informative, as Sareeta looks forward to learning about the newest scientific advancements in the cannabis industry.

If you’re in attendance, please feel free to stop by the posters and ask Sareeta all about the cannabis applications!

For more information about Pickering’s cannabis research please check our our archived article and visit our webpage for the latest application note releases.

Pickering Laboratories will Exhibit at Pittcon 2019

PITTCON 2019 is the 69th meeting of the Pittsburgh Conference in Philadelphia bringing the world of Analytical Chemistry Manufacturers in one place to exhibit the latest in instrumentation and applications.

Pickering laboratories will be exhibiting this year with exciting products and applications. Every year new Post Column products and applications are unveiled to new and current customers to demonstrate how Pickering Laboratories continues to expand the reach of Post Column Derivatization technology to address the new important analysis challenges in the news today.

The Pickering Test Solutions product lines continues to expand the number of artificial body fluid testing solutions for product testing applications. New this year is the addition of Artificial Ocean Water to this list and the first product for the Environmental product testing solutions category.

Visit us at Pittcon booth 2445 and make an entry in the drawing for a “Bose noise masking sleepbuds” (these are really cool check them out https://bose.life/2KqJsBk ) Plus all the other free stuff we offer.

Glyphosate News Update On China

Pickering Laboratories continues keeping an eye on Glyphosate situation around the globe. It has been announced that China is set to introduce Maximum Residue Limits for all imported final foods and raw material at 200 ppb or lower of Glyphosate by the end of 2019. These requirements would include all the grains, soybeans and other legumes. Right now China has no Maximum Residue Limits for Glyphosate so setting such low limits is bound to change the way countries importing food to China use this herbicide.

All the foods that will be affected by the new regulations could be analyzed for Glyphosate using Pickering Laboratories Post-column Derivatization Method

The highest level of contamination is found in crops such as oats and barley that are treated with Glyphosate right before harvest to desiccate the plants. Many countries, including the US, established high Residue Limits for Glyphosate in such crops. For example, US limits for Glyphosate in barley is 30 ppm and in oats is 20 ppm. Introducing limits at 200 ppb would most likely cause a decrease the use of Glyphosate as a desiccant and should increase testing. In fact, Australia, one of the biggest importers of food to China is considering banning the use of Glyphosate as a desiccant.

Interestingly, the decrease in Glyphosate use will be affecting China’s chemical production industry since currently China is the largest producer of Glyphosate and exports more than 60% of this chemical. But we certainly hope that tighter limits and increased testing for Glyphosate is be adopted by other countries as well for sake of everybody’s health as well as the health of Pickering business.

Guaranteed Chemistry