Thermo Fisher Scientific: Benefits of automated sample preparation workflow to reduce costs and increase lab efficiency
Exploring the benefits of unattended automated sample derivatization prior to GC analysis: the case of FAMEs.
Automating sample derivatization for FAME characterization is key to release labor workload, reduce hazardous chemical exposure and get highly repeatable data for fat content profiling in food.
Sample derivatization is often used in GC and GC/MS analyses to enhance the volatility of certain compounds. This is the case of the characterization of fats and oils in foods, where lipids are extracted with a non-polar solvent and saponified to produce free fatty acids. Then, the esterification to fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) is a very common derivatization procedure to increase volatility, improve chromatography, and decrease sample activity, thus providing more accurate analytical data.
Although it is a proven procedure commonly used to control fat quality in food, quantitative analysis of fat composition is extremely challenging especially when samples are processed manually. The use of highly toxic chemicals and large solvent volumes make this procedure troublesome while hand-on operations may lead to mistakes, poor accuracy and precision of the results.
A system capable of automatically handling much of the sample preparation process and scale down reagents and solvent consumption can increase laboratory throughput, reduce operational costs and free the operator from hazardous chemicals exposure, time-consuming and error-prone steps.
Daniela Cavagnino (Product Marketing Manager GC and Sampling Solutions, Thermo Fisher Scientific)
Dr. Daniela Cavagnino received her Masters Degree in Chemistry at the University of Milan, Italy. She started her career in gas chromatography at Thermo Fisher Scientific spending several years in the R&D laboratories working on GC technology innovation. Then, she conveyed her technical background into product management and marketing management roles with more than 15 years experience in promoting GC/GCMS technology and applications in several different market segments.