Harbors and ports are historically busy places, where the sharing and exchange of goods and cultures take place. Who could image in 1283, when the Port of Rotterdam came into existence by the creation of a small fishing village at the mouth of the Rotte River, that until 2004 Rotterdam would have been the world's busiest port?
This meant, and still means, a high volume of goods arrives in Rotterdam Port daily, among which food and feed commercialized in the Netherlands and in Europe. A whole support system was created to enable the delivery and commercialization of food and feed according to EU regulations.
Of course, in the case of food and feed, regulations require a whole set of analytical tests for contaminant determinations before the goods can be commercialized in the effort to protect consumers and the market. For the shipping company, this is translated into the need for a quick turnaround for the testing and results, which would minimize the impact on the cost of their stay in the port.
Close to Rotterdam harbor (Netherlands), NofaLab Laboratories, part of Cotecna, specializes in meeting the needs of their customers in terms of speed of analysis for, among others, dioxins and POPs.
Thermo Fisher Scientific met with the team at NofaLab, where Marcel Bruggeman (NofaGroup CEO) and Jeroen Markesteijn (Manager Dioxin Lab at NofaLab) explained their dioxin analysis workflow with Magnetic Sector GC-HRMS in the lab and the importance of a fast turnaround time for their customers.
Read a summary of the interviews below. The keywords at NofaLab are speed, performance, and compliance. Let’s go through them one by one. Don’t forget to watch the video and listen to Marcel and Jeroen.
When the ships arrive in the harbor carrying food and feed (oils, nuts, and animal fats) which need testing, they need to pay an expensive fee by the hour for the stay in the harbor while they wait for the results of the analysis. The longer they wait, the higher the harbor fee. Most importantly, the results of the analysis need to be shared before the truck arrives to customers.
It is then clear why speed is key at NofaLab: speed needs to be combined with confidence of results. This means a well round-up process from sample preparation, extraction, concentration to quantification of dioxin equals a highly efficient analytical workflow.
When it comes to dioxin quantification, we move to the next keyword: performance.
NofaLab started performing dioxin analysis in 2007. In 2008, they ran 1,500-2,000 samples per year. In 2019, it was increased to 9,000 dioxin analyses per year.
This means they were performing 30 to 40 samples a week in 2008 and they went up to performing 40 samples per day in 2019!
Considering the high performance provided for dioxin analysis, Nofalab’s customers are more and more frequently asking for full service, including analysis of other contaminants. Samples are analyzed at NofaLab to identify and quantify PAH, pesticides, and heavy metals among others, enabling customers to have one partner for their analytical needs.
Not only does NofaLab need to meet their customers’ needs, but they need to make sure that their analyses are compliant with official regulations for dioxin analysis. It is then important that the analytical solutions they have in the lab are ensuring that their customers can be confident in the results and the compliance of the analysis workflow. Thanks to the DFS Magnetic Sector GC-HRMS, NofaLab’s dioxin analyses are compliant with important European regulations and they are covering official methods globally, among which are the US and Japanese methods.
What are the key-words of your lab? Is speed important for your lab, too? Share your thoughts in the comment section.
For dioxins and POPs analysis: Download the new resource guide containing information on the history of POPs, the implications of their early occurrence, and today’s analytical testing methods for their accurate determination in chemical laboratories as an introduction to this global issue.