Gas Chromatography - Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS)

The analytical expertise offered by CAL also includes more investigative methods. GC-MS is employed to assay products for the presence of organic contaminants and taints as well as purity checks. It is useful for the analysis of consumer complaints relating to food, cosmetics and drugs. GC-MS methods employ either broad-scan analysis when looking for unknown contaminants or target analysis for known compounds using specific assay techniques. GC-MS has provided CAL with an important tool for forensic analysis, where poisoning or illicit drug taking is suspected in relation to animals or humans.

High performance liquid chromatography (hplc)

CAL has many years experience with this separation technique which is employed for the analysis of organic compounds. We can develop assays including full or partial validation in keeping with regulatory authority standards and analyse the extracts from many matrices including aqueous, blood, urine, saliva or other biological or non-biological sample types. In-house method development can be carried out on a regular basis or transferred to GMP laboratories if required. These assays can be employed to analyse raw materials and finished products as well as degradants and contaminants. CAL has a long history of HPLC assay development and validation for the pharmaceutical industry with special emphasis on stability indicating studies of drug substances, preservatives and excipients.

Fluoride by Ion Selective Electrode (ISE)

The Fluoride Ion-Selective Electrode is designed for the detection of fluoride ions (F-) in aqueous solutions. It is used in conjunction with an AgCl reference electrode. It is a useful tool in trying to determine whether a sample is mains or groundwater in origin. Other elements can be measured in this way with the use of their own specific ISE and accompanying reference electrode.

Inductively Coupled Plasma - Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS)

A full screen of elements can be analysed at once rather than being restricted to a single element at a time. Using ICP-MS also results in a very low limit of detection, generally ppb (µg/l) concentration range, particularly important for heavy metal analysis.


Foreign Body ID is carried out – e.g. in the food or process industry where speedy identification of particles can prevent costly shutdowns. Identification of foreign material is undertaken using SEM/EDX, FT-IR, GC-MS, along with other techniques. Alkaline Phosphatase analysis is undertaken on insects to demonstrate if they were present during cooking, before product release. This analysis is also employed to demonstrate that food products are fully processed.

Consumer Complaints

The analysis of products relating to personal injury cases or simple consumer complaints use methods such as HPLC or GC-MS. Other procedures employed are Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assays (ELISA) e.g. assays for allergens such as gluten, peanut and sesame seed. CAL provides a wide range of analysis for legal purposes and will attend court to act as an expert witness. Where necessary, CAL can arrange for toxicology opinions and reports by expert toxicologists who may be required to interpret the data obtained by chemical analysis.

Further Analysis

Other tests include Blood Identification (and speciation when required) and Drugs of Abuse. We assist concerned parents dealing with drug problems with their children and provide access to Drug Councillors for the parents and children. We can carry out drug Identification for pharmacists, solicitors and the Gardaí, as well as audit the findings of the State Laboratory and Garda Forensic Laboratory, for legal cases.

If your testing requirements are not mentioned in our range of as analysis, do not hesitate to call us and we can discuss your specific requirements.