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Techniques & Tools Liquid Chromatography, Gas Chromatography, Mass Spectrometry, Food, Beverage & Agriculture, Thin Layer Chromatography

Food & Drink

Sponsored by
Measuring Maple 

Acer Climate and Socio-Ecological Research Network (ACERnet) aims to investigate the impact of climate change on maple syrup. Maple samples are lyophilized, dissolved in methanol, filtered, then analyzed with reagent-based spectrophotometry and LC-MS to quantify overall and individual phenolic constituents in the maple sap, such as vanillin and coumarin, that contribute to its quality.

Photo credit: Joshua Rapp, ACERnet

A Real Corker!

Spoiling in wine is often caused by the presence of 2,4,6-trichloroanisole (TCA). These new NDTech machines use gas chromatography to scan each cork for TCA in 20 seconds, which, according to the company, is significantly less than the 14 minutes for standard gas chromatography technology.

Photo credit: Amorim

Yo Ho Ho and a Reactor of Rum

Bryan Davis, founder of the Lost Spirits Distillery, has developed a reactor that mimics the aging effect in spirits – cutting the processing time by up to 20 years. This image shows part of the table top reactor, which uses high intensity light to break up the polymers in the oak and dissolved in solution.

Photo credit: Bryan Davis, Lost Spirits Distillery

Much Needed TLC

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers use high-resolution, thin-layer chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry to separate compounds in ginkgo biloba leaf extracts.

Photo credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Sampling Sap…

A member of the ACERnet team collects sap from trees by inserting a spile (small metal peg). A small amount of sap is then collected in a plastic vial and stored in a freezer until the end of the season.

Photo credit: Joshua Rapp, ACERnet

A Nice Cup of Cocoa

QuEChERs extract of raw cocoa beans for pesticides residue analysis. At the end of the clean up, the extracts are placed in autosampler vials ahead of injection into GC and/or HPLC with mass spectrometry.

Photo credit: JayPiDee (Flickr)

You Say Tomato

Determining the quality of a cherry tomato with a near-infrared spectrometer-based food scanner (SCiO, ConsumerPhysics, Tel Aviv, Israel) and the ‘Tomato Selector’ App on a smart phone. Such affordable food scanners could change the way consumers judge the quality of their food.

Photo credit: Yannick Weesepoel, RIKILT

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About the Authors
Rich Whitworth

Rich Whitworth completed his studies in medical biochemistry at the University of Leicester, UK, in 1998. To cut a long story short, he escaped to Tokyo to spend five years working for the largest English language publisher in Japan. "Carving out a career in the megalopolis that is Tokyo changed my outlook forever. When seeing life through such a kaleidoscopic lens, it's hard not to get truly caught up in the moment." On returning to the UK, after a few false starts with grey, corporate publishers, Rich was snapped up by Texere Publishing, where he spearheaded the editorial development of The Analytical Scientist. "I feel honored to be part of the close-knit team that forged The Analytical Scientist – we've created a very fresh and forward-thinking publication." Rich is now also Content Director of Texere Publishing, the company behind The Analytical Scientist.


Joanna Cummings

A former library manager and storyteller, I have wanted to write for magazines since I was six years old, when I used to make my own out of foolscap paper and sellotape and distribute them to my family. Since getting my MSc in Publishing, I’ve worked as a freelance writer and content creator for both digital and print, writing on subjects such as fashion, food, tourism, photography – and the history of Roman toilets. Now I can be found working on The Analytical Scientist, finding the ‘human angle’ to cutting-edge science stories.

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