Laboratory Services

Laboratory Services

The BioNetwork Natural Products Laboratory offers a variety of analytical and quality assurance testing services for life science businesses, researchers, and more. Through grants and partnerships with Asheville Buncombe Technical Community College (A-B Tech), the North Carolina Department of Agriculture (NCDA), the North Carolina Biotechnology Center (NCBC), and the Golden LEAF Foundation we have had the opportunity to develop quality assurance test services for botanical material, biodiesel, and craft beverages. We are often able to expand our services by working on new projects. If you don’t see what you’re looking for here, ask us about method development. Additionally, we offer laboratory rental so that you may work on your own research and development or quality control testing. 

Below are some examples of testing services based on current and past projects: 

 

Botanical Constituent Quantification

Depending on the sample material and compound involved, plant compounds of interest can be evaluated using chromatographic or spectroscopic techniques.  Here are some example test methods used in the lab:

  • Berberine and hydrastine in goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) by HPLC and variable wavelength detection
  • Triterpene glycosides in black cohosh (Actaea racemosa) by HPLC and evaporative light scattering detection
  • Catechins in green tea (Camellia sinensis) by HPLC and photo-diode array detection
  • Essential oil profile by gas chromatography with mass spectrometry
  • Antioxidant activity – Estimation as vitamin C equivalents by DPPH free radical quenching
  • Hops (Humulus lupulus) analysis – total % α and β-acids, and Hop Stability Index (H.S.I.)
  • Total anthocyanins – Estimation via pH-differential reaction
  • Total flavonoids – Estimation as rutin equivalents via an aluminum chloride reaction 
  • Total phenolics – Estimation as gallic acid equivalents with the Folin-Ciocalteau method

Laboratory Methods for Research and Quality Assurance

 Incoming herbal raw material and certain finished products may be tested for purity, quality, and safety with a variety of methods.

  • Moisture content of powders and other solid materials
  • Total ash and acid-insoluble ash
  • Pesticide multi-residue screening with QuEChERS (Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effective, Rugged, Safe) extraction and GC-MS analysis for around 100 selected pesticides in botanical materials
  • Microbial analysis, including total yeast & mold count, total microbial count, and absence of E. coli and Salmonella.

 Biodiesel B100 Critical Specification Testing

  • Sulfur content by ED-XRF
  • Cloud point (ASTM D7397)
  • Cold soak filterability (ASTM D7501)
  • Flash point (ASTM D93)
  • Oxidation stability (EN 15751)
  • Water and sediment (ASTM D2709)
  • Total and free glycerin (ASTM D6584)
  • Total acid number (ASTM D974)

Craft Beverage Analysis

  • Automated beer test parameters including color, alcohol content, caloric content, haze, CO2 and O2 content, specific gravity, and real and apparent degree of fermentation (Anton-Paar instrumentation)
  • Bitterness units
  • Yeast examination and automated analysis (Moxi-Flow instrumentation)
  • Microbiological screening for aerobic and anaerobic organisms, Lactobacillus, Pediococcus, and wild yeast
  • Other tests including foam collapse rate, total VDK, total solids, and ash content

Method Development, Feasibility, & Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

Our method development choices are typically based on our clients’ requests.  If you have a project you would like to pursue that has not previously been performed in our lab, the following fees will apply:

  • Per hour development fee:  This will cover development and adaptation to our equipment. The development of SOPs for your procedure(s) is available upon request and will be billed at the same rate.
  • Per hour equipment use fee:  This will cover associated equipment use costs.
  • Materials use fee: This will cover any materials necessary to develop and run the method.
  • Per sample pricing:  The cost per sample is determined once your method has been established.

If our method development services are desired, please contact us to discuss your specific needs and obtain a quote for the requested work. 

Pricing for previously-developed methods is based on the laboratory’s cost to complete the analysis. Calibration standards, where required, are often an expensive component to the overall cost. Our costs decrease when we can do projects with multiple samples submitted at one time or regularly over a given period. Please contact us for method availability and pricing before submitting samples.

 

If our method development services are desired, please contact us to discuss your specific needs and obtain a quote for the requested work.

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