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Calibration Software Enables Single Quadrupole Instruments to Easily Identify Unknowns

Cerno Bioscience and Agilent Technologies announce they will jointly market Cerno’s MassWorks calibration software to Agilent GC/MSD ChemStation users. This novel calibration increases the mass accuracy of Agilent’s single quadrupole GC/MSD sufficiently to identify unknown compounds. This normally requires use of much more expensive, larger instruments such as Quadrupole Time-of-Flight, or Fourier Transform Ion Resonance mass spectrometers.

MassWorks for GC/MSD uses Cerno’s patented technology to calibrate raw MS data from Agilent’s GC/MSD using peak shape, followed by CLIP formula ID based on spectral accuracy. This technique dramatically improves mass accuracy and enables single-quad instruments to identify unknown compounds. In addition to enabling compound identification without a library, the formula ID function also speeds and adds confidence to library searches. The combined capabilities of the Agilent GC/MSD Chemstation and Cerno’s MassWorks means there is now an economic alternative to high- resolution GC/MS systems for formula ID.

“The combination of Agilent’s GC/MS with Cerno’s MassWorks holds real value for end users,” said Chris Toney, Agilent vice president and general manager, Mass Spec Systems. “Customers can use their workhorse single-quad instruments to identify unknowns rather than rely on more specialized instruments with associated costs and delays.”

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HPTLC Leading The Way In Food Safety

CBS 103, the latest edition of CAMAG’s Bibliography Service, is available now from CAMAG’s UK distributor, Omicron Research Limited. The lead article focuses on HPTLC as a fast and reliable method of detecting harmful, illegal dyes used in spice powders and mixes. Also featured is the pioneering work being carried out determining unknown plant extracts using planar chromatography.

The use of some carcinogenic azo dyes, such as Sudan I, in spices to enhance their red and orange colouring is illegal. Since 2007, the State Laboratory in Zurich has been using HPTLC as a valuable tool in identifying these harmful dyes in such spices as chilli, paprika and curry powder. HPTLC is particularly suited to this type of analysis due to its rapid and matrix-robust screening of many samples in parallel, making it reliable and cost-effective.

The advantages of HPTLC can also be applied to the screening of unknown plant extracts, a technique commonly used in cosmetic applications for identifying potential candidates for development of new cosmetic relevant compounds. High sample throughput results in short analysis times and low costs whilst the variety of derivatization reactions makes planar chromatography a powerful tool in this competitive field.

Copies of CBS 103 are available, free of charge from Omicron on or 01672 541425.

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