Extracts, Flavors & Fragrances: Sourcing & Stability
Mass Spec Lab is uniquely qualified to help clients in the extracts, flavors, and fragrances businesses to:
- Select and Authenticate Raw Material Sources
- Qualify Formulation Changes
- Qualify Substitute or Back-up Sources
- Study the Stability of Formulations and Raw Materials
- Identify/Quantitate Impurities and Degradants
Mass Spec Lab Can Help With the Following Applications:
Fingerprinting Raw Materials: Most of the flavors and fragrances that we come into contact with are of botanical/herbal origin. The extraction, isolation, and purification of the active species from these plant extracts are difficult because of the complexity of the plant matrices and the large number of undesired species that accompany the target compound. Mass Spec Lab can create a chemical fingerprint of a raw material to be used as a standard in the quality assurance raw material inspection process once a product moves into production.
Authenticating “Pesticide-Free” Raw Material Extracts: Mass Spec Lab can set up targeted pesticide analyses which can be used to assure ongoing “authenticity” of organic raw materials or to authenticate alternate and second raw material sources.
Confirming Raw Material Claims: Adulteration of raw materials is a genuine concern.Mass Spec Lab has experience detecting these flagrant, but not so obvious, misrepresentations. As an example, we have analyzed the components of a “natural” contact lens disinfection solution containing grapefruit seed extract as the purported active disinfectant. Through careful chemical analysis we discovered that the putative disinfecting “natural” extract contained benzethonium chloride, a known anti-microbial and ocular irritant. As a result the client went on to explore other natural plant-derived options for the disinfection agent.
Understanding the Stability Profile of Plant-Derived Actives: Shelf life stability and stability in processing (e.g. sterilization) are significant concerns for plant–derived extracts and raw materials. Processing, packaging and storage conditions are often dictated by stability considerations. A study of olive leaf extract illustrates Mass Spec Lab’s experience in this area. Olive leaf extract has significant bacterial disinfection activity but this activity is highly sensitive to process, package and storage conditions. Mass Spec Lab was asked to investigate the oxidative and thermal stability of olive leaf extract fractions and ultimately explain the reduction in disinfection efficacy linked to oxygen and heat exposure. Careful LCMS analysis, coupled with microbiological assays, was used to determine the active component of the extract as well as its fate during accelerated shelf storage studies.
Creating Quality Control Programs for Flavor and Fragrance Formulations: Once a formulation has made it through the research and development phases, a “fingerprint” of the formulation must be established with appropriate tolerances against which subsequent batches can be compared. Mass Spec Lab can help establish the Quality Control requirements for stable production processes. A well designed quality control program can save money through the elimination of rejected product lots.