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Part of the PFA Group

Faraday Discussion – Challenges in Analysis of Complex Natural Mixtures

October 15th, 2018

Representatives of PFA will be attending the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Faraday Discussion meeting on “Challenges in Analysis of Complex Natural Mixtures” in May 2019 at The University of Edinburgh.

‘What is this substance?’ sounds like it should be an easy question to answer, but in fact is often one of the biggest challenges.

Our vast experience in dealing with the characterisation of complex naturally-derived substances has been fundamental for clients to fulfil their obligations under REACH. Substances under REACH are required to be tightly defined by analysis and process.

Data sharing obligations mean that it is necessary to decide whether one substance identified by a particular identifier (such as a CAS or EC number) is ‘the same’ as other substances assigned to that identifier. As identifiers were often assigned many years ago based on a very brief description and very little data, that is not always the case. When read-across of (eco)toxicology data is used to reduce the need for animal testing, identity of the two substances becomes essential.

To properly understand sameness and read-across, it’s necessary to know the chemical identity and proportions of individual constituents. For complex naturally-derived substances that can be a huge task. That is why we are interested in widening our knowledge of what is possible in terms of analysis as well as data mining and visualisation techniques.

We look forward to some interesting discussions!