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The Thomson Suite: State-of-the-Art Mass Spectrometry at Fera

The Thomson Suite is one of the largest facilities of its kind in the UK. It is a bespoke laboratory running to GLP quality standards that houses 30 state-of-the-art mass spectrometry instruments. It was named in honour of Sir Joseph John Thomson (1856 - 1940), a British Nobel Prize winning physicist, whose 1913 experiments are credited with the invention of mass spectrometry.

The equipment within the facility consists of very sensitive and selective instruments such as LC-MS/MS, IC-MS/MS and GC-MS/MS which are used for the determination of compounds including pesticides, veterinary medicines, natural toxins, processing contaminants, environmental contaminants and packaging migrants, from a wide range of sample types including food, feed, beverages, packaging materials and environmental matrices such as water and soil. The equipment is also used for wildlife investigation, identifying poisons in cases of suspicious animal deaths.

In addition there are also a number of high resolution mass spectrometers such as the hybrid ion trap - Orbitrap, Exactive, Quadrupole Time of Flight (QTOF), and TOF instruments. These are used for more exploratory investigations such as identifying and quantifying previously unknown substances in samples and can allow the determination of chemical profiles for samples which can be used in authenticity studies. Another common use for this equipment is during investigations of customer complaints for products where 'good' and 'bad' samples can be compared and the cause of the product defect identified.

Scientists at Fera work collaboratively with the instrument manufacturers to help develop and test new state-of-the-art analytical solutions including hardware, software and method design, and this keeps Fera at the forefront of global analytical technology.

This facility gives us the edge in food, feed and environmental sample analysis, and the experience and expertise of our scientists allows interpretation of the results to provide rapid and expert advice to enable our customers to act on the information provided.

Want to know more? Email us at info@fera.co.uk