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High sample throughput in a modern dioxin laboratory using automated sample purification and dual acquisition

Feed business operators including traders and import operators placing oils or derived products intended for the use in animal feed on the market, must have these products analyzed in accredited laboratories for the sum of dioxins and dioxin-like PCBs. The operator placing the feed on the market is responsible for the sampling and analyses. Only if the analysis result is favorable, the feed or the ingredient can be delivered (together with the report of analysis of the concerned batch as a proof). These requirements are based on EU-legislation, as laid down in Reg. (EU) No. 225/2012 and Commission Regulation (EC) No 152/2009.

This “positive release” requirements puts great pressure on laboratories. Reports of analysis should not only be based on state of the art technology and fully accredited methods but more over they should be available, due to high cost before the ship can be unloaded (demurrage), as soon as possible. In order to be able to report results of analysis within 8-24 hours automation of the whole procedure is a must. On request by the client a number of samples can be analyzed and reported within 8 hours. This has been achieved by introducing a new sample preparation system in combination with dual acquisition GC-HRMS.

The main advantages of the new sample preparation systems are:
• Extremely low solvent consumption (< 100ml per sample)
• Rapid turnaround time of only 90 minutes
• Small final volume of fraction of interest 1-2 ml
• Columns easy to connect and no leakage
• No cross contamination

By using dual data acquisition the capacity of a GC-HRMS system is almost doubled. The Dual Data Acquisition option enables alternating injection series into two GCs both coupled to one high resolution mass spectrometer resulting in a comparable sample throughput of two single GC-HRMS systems.