ASPEC™ – Automated SPE for Food Analysis

The Gilson GX-271 ASPEC™ and GX-274 ASPEC™ solid phase extraction (SPE) systems automate positive pressure SPE and are suitable for all applications. Whether your application is pharmaceutical, clinical, forensic, or environmental, SPE has become the technique of choice for sample cleanup, sample prep, and trace analyte enrichment due to its inherent versatility, selectivity, speed and low solvent usage. The GX-271 ASPEC is a single probe unit; however, if you require a faster throughput with parallel processing, the four-probe GX-274 ASPEC will suit your needs.

To complement our automated SPE instrument range, Gilson offers a wide range of SPE cartridges and plates from Macherey-Nagel. Amongst the many standard supports offered are specialised supports such as the Chromabond QuEChERS, which is the leading method used for the determination of pesticides in food samples. QuEChERS are used in a non-retentive manner with no column wetting or conditioning necessary.

By pairing the QuEChERS cartridges with the Gilson GX-271/4 ASPEC, automated analysis of pesticides in food, e.g. grapes, strawberries, is now a routine procedure. Gilson has prepared a custom, non-mobile rack to hold 40 cartridges per rack instead of the normal 16, and larger tubes can collect volumes up to 15ml. Samples are dispensed to the top of the column and allowed to drip through under gravity. The analyte of interest passes straight through the column and into the collection vial, while the impurities are retained on the column for disposal.

In July 2010 Scientific Analysis Laboratories (SAL) purchased a GX-274 ASPEC system for sample cleanup to determine pesticide quantities in various food-stuffs. They opted for the four-probe version to be able to increase the number of samples that could be processed as their current manual methods were becoming more and more time-consuming and the number of samples to be analysed was rapidly increasing. They required an accurate and reproducible way to do this.

“Because of the nature of the QuEChERS cleanup we are using, we were able to maximise sample throughput by having one sample rack and four sample processing racks each holding 40ml x 6ml cleanup tubes to cope with increasing demands.”

“The instrument frees up the time of our technicians to perform other tasks, another improvement to productivity. The instrument is used by lab technicians who like the intuitive and very easy to follow nature of the software.”

“We are very happy with the instrument and it has certainly increased our productivity and enables us to be more competitive in the market place,” said Shane Swann, general manager at SAL.

For more information on the Gilson ASPEC automated systems or the QuEChERS SPE columns, visit Gilson’s website.

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