Category Archives: Uncategorized

Onyx PCX Launch – Press Release


Next generation post-column derivatization instrument delivers on promise of “Guaranteed Chemistry”

Mountain View, California, Nov 25, 2019 – Environmental, pharmaceutical and feed laboratories now have access to the newest model of post-column derivatization instruments – the Onyx PCX.  Every component of this system has been optimized for post-column applications, thereby improving ease of use, reliability and ruggedness of analytical instrumentation. Onyx PCX is used in the analysis of amino acids, glyphosate, mycotoxins, antibiotics, cannabinoids and a variety of other applications. This latest instrument is part of the commitment Pickering Laboratories has to complete application support. Together with analytical columns, high-purity reagents, mobile phases and methods, the Onyx PCX post-column system supports Pickering Laboratories’ guarantee of method performance and chromatographic separation.

The Onyx PCX features a precisely programmable convectional column oven with temperature gradient capabilities and a fully inert flow path with ceramic syringe reagent pumps, PEEK electronic valves and PTFE reactor coils. All main components of the system are accessible from the front panel for ease of monitoring and maintenance. Following the tradition of Pickering Laboratories’ derivatization instruments, the Onyx PCX can be connected to any HPLC system, greatly expanding the LC’s capabilities.

“We are also very excited about new software features, such as extensive record-keeping capabilities and automated heaters calibration,” says Dr. Maria Ofitserova, Senior Research Chemist at Pickering Laboratories. “In addition to log files collecting real-time data on all instrument parameters for troubleshooting purposes, we now have the User Journal that allows laboratories to maintain records of completed runs, error messages, changes to methods and sequences.” She continues, “these and other details are important for audits and regulatory compliance. We also introduced an automated calibration feature for our heaters, which supports instrument performance qualification in the field.”

About Pickering Laboratories, Inc.:

Pickering Laboratories, Inc. manufactures analytical columns, high-purity reagents, and post-column derivatization instruments that enable specialized analysis with High-Performance Liquid Chromatography Equipment.  For nearly 40 years, Pickering Laboratories has offered its expertise and technical support to our customers in the environmental, clinicals and food markets to help them achieve the highest sensitivity and selectivity of analysis.  Our supported methods include the derivatization of Amino Acids, Carbamates, Glyphosate, Aminoglycoside Antibiotics, Polyether Antibiotics, Biogenic Amines, Aflatoxins, Paralytic Shellfish Toxins, and more.

Contact Information:

Rebecca Smith
Director of Operations
Pickering Laboratories, Inc.
1280 Space Park Way
Mountain View, CA 94043

Farewell to Mike and Welcome to Rudy and Yuliana! Or, How We Spent Our Summer.

By Rebecca Smith

This year, our fiscal year kicked off with an extra special party – we combined our New Year’s bash with an Independence Day celebration, plus Mike Gottschalk let us roll out the red carpet and sparklers for a champagne toast to celebrate his retirement!  Talk about a party – we had a circus theme for the event and several people came in costume! 

Here we see Mike Gottschalk, retiring in style! Judy Pickering and Jim Murphy are ready for the fantastic BBQ catered lunch. Several people took advantage of the photo props, including Sareeta Nerkar, Gloria Garcia and Rebecca Smith. Also, we wanted to share plenty shots of President Murphy clowning around!

Everyone had a great time and we sincerely wish Mike all the best of luck in his retirement – Mike, may you delight in spending time with your grandkids and still find plenty of hours for golf!  Cheers and thank you for your many years of service!

The Pickering staff came back from the long holiday weekend recharged and ready for the start of the fiscal year!  New hire Maureen was just hitting her 90-days at Pickering and we thought the excitement was winding down around the lab…  That is, until we jumped headfirst into the deep-end of the hiring pool once more! 

With Mike’s retirement fresh in our minds, we began our search for a new Customer Service Manager to join our team.  We searched high, we searched low, we searched Indeed. 

As a result, we’d now like to introduce you to Rudy Suez, the newest – scratch that, second newest – employee to join Pickering!  Rudy joins us from his previous employer, where he managed the Inside Sales and Customer Service team that supported Veterinary Chemistry and Hematology customers for the last several years.  For our team, Rudy will be managing our Customer Service team as well as looking for new ways to impact our sales and customer experiences. 

When he has free time, Rudy enjoys hitting the gym on weeknights and road-tripping down to Disneyland whenever he can get away for a weekend.  You might have already spoken with him on the phone over the last couple of weeks, but next time feel free to ask him about Space Mountain while placing your order!

Here is Rudy while on a trip to Santiago, Chile.

Rudy got a chance to meet some of you at this year’s AOAC International conference and he can’t wait to continue building relationships with more of our customers.  He’s still has plenty to learn but he’s friendly and enthusiastic, so don’t be shy to share a little bit about your company and post-column application of choice, if you have the time!  Rudy would welcome contact via email or feel free to call him up and have a chat.

Rudy Suez, looking friendly as he represented Pickering at this year’s AOAC meeting in Denver!

And finally, speaking of new employees, we’d also like to briefly introduce Yuliana Lopez, our brand-new admin-of-all-trades!  Yuliana will be cross-training with Diana over the next several weeks and learning how to route your calls, take your orders, send your invoices and generally provide full-service customer support!

Yuliana Lopez and Diana Ancira, seen here mind-melding and being fabulous!

In her spare time, Yuliana enjoys watching anime, reading books and unleashing her creative genius on hair and makeup as a licensed cosmetologist!  If you’d like to say hello and welcome her to the team, she can be reached by email or by walking through the Pickering front door!  Otherwise, she can be reached along with Diana and Gloria at our email address!

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 ) 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.

Pickering’s 2018 Holiday Party Recap

By Rebecca Smith and Gloria Garcia

Our customers may not know this, but our very own Gloria Garcia plans an amazing holiday party annually for all of Pickering  Laboratories’ employees and their guests. This year our celebration was a dinner cruise on the San Francisco Bay!

We cruised out of the Berkeley Marina on a brisk Saturday evening and our vessel was the perfect size for our small but festive group! Commodore Hornblower Cruises did a fabulous job with the party; we were treated to a fun crew and great service! To our delight, it was a perfectly clear evening out on the water! (As you might know, San Francisco tends to have a bit of fog from time to time.)

Here’s a taste of our fantastic views of the Bay Bridge and the beautiful twinkles of the city skyline!

With such an excellent light show out every window, it took some awesome food and a lively DJ to capture our attention inside.  Gloria organized several hilarious after-dinner games to keep the crowd entertained, including a hybrid musical-chairs-scavenger-hunt and a modified hot potato game!

Here’s a great photo of Jim Murphy and Judy Pickering (looks like they found some tasty wine)!

Someone captured a live action shot of Gloria and Rebecca (are we on the dance floor?) to share.

We enjoyed a great night of good friends, fun games, dancing and plenty of holiday cheer! It was a fun way to close out 2018 and ring in 2019. We send our thanks to Gloria again for her hard work – we certainly appreciated the excellent results and we hope you enjoyed the pictures.

From all of us at Pickering Labs, we wish you the very best in the New Year!

Chromatography Quiz #31 – Glyphosate Doublet Peak

Chromatography Quiz #30: Aflatoxins Decreased Signal – RESULTS

Pickering Labs would like to congratulate all of our winners for our previous newsletter’s Aflatoxins Chromatography Quiz: Mark Ritari from Anatek Labs, Thomas Scott from Diversified Laboratories, Tom Schneider from Suffolk County Water Authority, Narjes Ghafoori from LA County Environmental Toxicology Lab, Jiufeng Fan from Glaxo Smith Kline, and Ankita Gambhir from KFMC.

Winners will soon receive an Amazon eGift Card, redeemable towards a vast array of items store-wide at  Happy shopping, winners! We wish you cheers and success in the New Year!

Congratulations to our quiz winners!

Thank you all for your submissions!




The correct answers for the Aflatoxins quiz:

A decrease in signal could be due to a bad autosampler, old/degraded standard, aged reactor loop, or aged UV lamp in the photochemical reactor.

Chromatography Quiz #31 – Glyphosate Doublet Peak:

Identify the error made when running the Glyphosate chromatogram below and win a prize!

Simply email your answer and your full contact information to Rebecca at by April 1, 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).

Glyphosate Analysis for US EPA Method 547:

Normal Operating Conditions: (for reference only, changes may be reflected in chromatogram)

Customer’s Glyphosate Standard: 25 ppb, 100 µL injection

Pickering Column: 1954150 Cation-exchange Column for Glyphosate Analysis, 4 x 150 mm

Column Temperature: 55 °C

Flow rate: 0.4 mL/min

Eluent Gradient:

Post-column Conditions for Pesticide Analysis:

Reagent 1: Oxidizing reagent – 100uL of 5% Sodium Hypochlorite in 950mL of GA116

Reagent 2: 100 mg of OPA, 2 g Thiofluor™ in 950 mL of GA104

Reactor 1: 36 °C, 0.5 mL

Reactor 2: ambient. 0.1 mL

Reagent flow rates: 0.3 mL/min

Detection: Fluorometer λex 330 nm, λem 465 nm