Contaminant Identification and Testing



When a contaminant is found in a product, manufacturers need to be able to determine the source of contamination. Contaminant testing involves the determination of components at low concentrations, such as ppm or ppb levels. Contaminant testing and identification projects can involve off-odor/flavor investigations, off-color problems, or foreign particles in a product. Others may involve identifying what the unknown peaks in chromatographic and spectral analyses are that were performed by a client.

A well laid out technical approach is required to identify and isolate the unknown contaminant and its source. For example, one approach would be the use of a comparison study between a control and suspect sample. Such a approach would, of course, be dependent on the sample matrix and the suspected level of contamination.

At Quantum,  we often start with a general screen of the control and suspect sample using GC/MS.  Then, depending on the test results, we may need to isolate the contaminant from a large amount of sample to allow further analysis using FT-IR or other more specialized instrumental techniques. Once we have completed the identification, we can further quantify the contaminant in the sample matrix.

Some sources of contaminants have been from the environment, improper storage of the product, or poor quality raw materials. We work closely with our clients to trace the source of contamination and develop a realistic corrective action program.

Quantum performs contamination testing investigations for the food and beverage,  personal care products, cosmetics, pharmaceutical, medical device, packaging and chemical industries. Our services are available for emergency situations on a rush 24 hour basis, including weekends.


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