The new laboratory is bigger and better equipped, meaning that RSSL will be able to provide a more thorough, and more efficient investigative service for the food and drinks industries.
Metals such as arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury are natural occurring chemical compounds. They can be present at various levels in the environment, and can occur as residues in food because of their presence in the environment, as a result of human activities such as farming, industry or car exhausts or from contamination during food processing and storage.
The basic principles of EU legislation on contaminants in food are contained in Regulation 315/93/EEC, and Regulation EC 1881/2006 lays down maximum levels for certain contaminants in foodstuff, including lead, cadmium, mercury and inorganic tin.
RSSL is now superbly equipped to deal with all the analytical challenges posed by different metals in different matrices.
New equipment has been added to enhance RSSL's current capabilities. This includes ICP-MS (inductively coupled plasma mass-spectrometry), ICP-OES (inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy), AAS (atomic absorption spectrometry), and MP-AES (microwave plasma-atomic emission spectrometry).
These four complementary technologies give RSSL options to quantify trace metal contamination in all kinds of matrices, with accuracy and efficiency not possible by wet-chemistry methods.
As Agilent's sole partner laboratory in the UK for atomic spectroscopy, RSSL will also be established as the premiere site for developing new techniques and applications for Agilent's technologies, benefiting from Agilent's support and expertise, and offering a demonstration site for Agilent equipment.