Agilent in Food Safety

From farm to fork, Agilent supports the safety of your food

From farm to fork, Agilent supports the safety of your food

Every continent on the globe has experienced a major food crisis within the past five years.  The World Health Organization estimates 2.2 million deaths per year globally from foodborne diseases.  The Centers for Disease Control report that one in six Americans are sickened each year, resulting in 128,000 annual hospitalizations.

The globalization of our food supply has added to the problem.  Fifty years ago, the average grocery store stocked 200 food items, all produced within 100 miles.  Today, the average is 39,000 items, which have travelled an average of 1,500 miles.

The food industry needs to ensure its products are safe from contamination while maintaining quality, convenience and affordability.  Consumers want to know if their meat contains antibiotics, steroids or other growth hormones.  They want to know if their fish contains lead or mercury.  They want to know if their food is organic.

Agilent is the world leader in providing chemical analysis solutions for food safety.  Our liquid chromatography – mass spectrometry (LC-MS) platforms can detect more than 3,000 known mycotoxins.  Our triple-quadrupole mass spec (QQQ) can measure 200-300 compounds at the sub-picogram level (about one-thousandth the mass of a single dust particle).

Food authenticity is another problem.  Governments estimate that 10 percent of the food we buy is likely adulterated and 7 percent contains fraudulent ingredients.  This is especially true with high-priced foods such as wine, spirits and olive oil.  Food producers use Agilent gas chromatograph (GC), liquid chromatograph (LC) and inductively coupled plasma (ICP) systems, in combination with mass spec, software and automation capabilities, to detect food degradation or adulteration.

The industry also uses life sciences technologies to determine both the positive and negative effects of foods on humans.  Agilent offers a full range of genomics tools, analytical instruments and integrated biology software that is unmatched.  From farm to fork, Agilent is helping producers to bring you the best food products that have the best effects on human health.

Agilent’s customer markets include energy and chemicals, food, the environment, forensics, pharmaceuticals, research and diagnostics.


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We Are Running Out of Chocolate!

We are facing the world’s biggest chocolate shortage in 50 years

We are facing the world’s biggest chocolate shortage in 50 years

Here’s a scary thought: several news and industry organizations are reporting that the world’s supply of chocolate is in danger.  The problem is that global demand has skyrocketed at the same time that there is a shortage of supply.

West Africa (which grows 70 percent of the world’s cocoa) is facing lower production yields from aging trees.  Ivory Coast and Ghana (the two biggest growers) are suffering from drought.  Cocoa prices have risen 24 percent over the past year.

As a result, cocoa consumption exceeded production by 70,000 metric tons over the past year, according to London’s International Cocoa Organization.  Commerzbank believes the production shortfall may top 100,000 tons in the coming year.  The deficit is expected to last through 2018, making it the longest chocolate shortage in 50 years.

Western Europe continues to have the most chocoholics, who consume 2.2 million tons of cocoa a year.  But Asia is rapidly catching up, as emerging economies improve their standards of living.  Chocolate sales in China have more than doubled over the past decade.  Another trend is the increasing popularity of dark chocolate, which uses seven times more cocoa than standard chocolate.

Agilent is a world-leader in technology solutions for food safety and quality.  Our instruments are used for detecting and measuring compounds in chocolate, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, acrylamide and carbohydrates.


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Agilent in Energy and Chemicals

From your light switches to your gas tank, Agilent is there

From your light switches to your gas tank, Agilent is there

We use energy everywhere in our daily lives, from flipping a light switch to answering a cell phone to fueling a car.  Similarly, we benefit from the chemical industry every time we package leftovers, enjoy new clothes or clean our homes.

Chemical manufacturers convert raw materials such as oil, natural gas, metals and minerals into more than 70,000 different products.  Polymers and plastics comprise much of this industry, used in everything from packaging to backpacks to lingerie to watchbands.

We don’t usually think about energy and chemicals together, but they both rely on petroleum from fossil fuels.  Many major energy companies are also major chemical companies.

Petrochemical pipeline operators use Agilent gas chromatographs (GC) to identify and quantify more than 150 different petrochemical compounds and impurities.  Biofuel producers use Agilent microwave plasma-atomic emission spectrometers (MP-AES) to certify that their products meet environmental quality standards.

Chemical manufacturers use Agilent Fourier Transfer infrared spectrometers (FT-IR) to control the production of polymers.  Makers of agricultural chemicals use Agilent high-performance liquid chromatographs (HPLC) with mass spectrometry (MS) to analyze the effectiveness and environmental impact of pesticides.

For more than 40 years, Agilent has played a leadership role in ASTM International (formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials), the standards body for the energy and chemical industries.  Agilent also works to ensure laboratory safety standards.  As one customer in China observed, “Only Agilent has shown concern about our safety.  None of your competitors have done so.”

Agilent’s customer markets include energy and chemicals, food, the environment, forensics, pharmaceuticals, research and diagnostics.


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