Dietary Supplement Manufacturing Will Benefit from a New Amino Acid Testing & Analysis Technique Utilizing Pickering Instrumentation as Performed by NJ Labs

NJ Labs is one of a handful of CGMP laboratories in the nation to utilize a post column derivatization technique for testing Amino Acids. Here is some insight into this leading-edge technology and the process we use to analyze amino acid content.

Our chemists prepare samples which are injected into a Titanium UPLC (Ultra-Performance Liquid Chromatography) instrument which houses a cation exchange column for amino acid analysis (Lithium Ion Column). This column is custom made by instrument manufacturer Pickering Labs to separate free amino acids and to greatly reduce matrix interferences. The mobile phases we use are also from Pickering. The UPLC is bio-inert (constructed with titanium) in order to prevent any corrosion and interferences from the mobile phases which are specially manufactured to have high amino acid selectivity.

Following separation on the UPLC, the separated analytes then pass through a closed system called a Pickering PCX for post column derivatization. This reaction process involves mixing the sample with a steady flow of Trione which contains Ninhydrin reagent as well as other reagents/solvents at a temperature of 130°C. Trione is a trademark reagent used to detect ammonia as well as primary and secondary amines at two wavelengths: 440nm and 570nm. Out of necessity, post column derivatization is an extremely controlled and regulated procedure. The method and instrument set-up are complex and lengthy. However, the end result is more accurate, precise testing which today’s dietary supplemental formulations demand. More information about the post column derivatization instrument we utilize for this testing can be found here:

We believe that Dietary Supplements manufacturers looking to formulate superior products as well as Amino Acid raw material manufacturers looking to identify Ninhydrine positive substances and ammonium according to European Pharmacopoeia, will benefit the most from this new technology and process as performed by NJ Labs.