PRA Lab

Pesticides residue and Mycotoxins analysis Laboratory
The laboratory is one among the advanced of its type in the country, where the foodgrains are thoroughly examined for the residues of pesticides which are being used to control stored grain pest in Indian condition such as Malathion, Deltamethrin, Aluminum Phosphide and Dichlorvos and mycotoxin contaminants such as Aflatoxin A and Aflatoxin B. The laboratory has been renovated and equipped with sophisticated instruments for the analysis such as GC-ECD, GCMS/MS, LCMS/MS and HPLC.
 

Gas Chromatography – Electron Capture Detector or GC-ECD
Gas chromatography (GC) is a common type of chromatography used in analytical chemistry for separating and analyzing compounds that can be vaporized without decomposition. Typical uses of GC include testing the purity of a particular substance, or separating the different components of a mixture (the relative amounts of such components can also be determined). In some situations, GC may help in identifying a compound. In preparative chromatography, GC can be used to prepare pure compounds from a mixture.
The gaseous compounds being analyzed interact with the walls of the column, which is coated with a stationary phase. This causes each compound to elute at a different time, known as the retention time of the compound. The comparison of retention times is what gives GC its analytical usefulness.
An electron capture detector (ECD) is a device for detecting atoms and molecules in a gas through the attachment of electrons via electron capture ionization. The device was invented in 1957 by James Lovelock and is used in gas chromatography to detect trace amounts of chemical compounds in a sample.

Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS)
Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS) is an analytical method that combines the features of gas-chromatography and mass spectrometry to identify different substances within a test sample.Applications of GC-MS include drug detection, fire investigation, environmental analysis, explosives investigation, and identification of unknown samples, including that of material samples obtained from planet Mars during probe missions as early as the 1970s. GC-MS can also be used in airport security to detect substances in luggage or on human beings. Additionally, it can identify trace elements in materials that were previously thought to have disintegrated beyond identification. Like liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry, it allows analysis and detection even of tiny amounts of a substance.

Liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC-MS)
Liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC-MS) is an analytical chemistry technique that combines the physical separation capabilities of liquid chromatography (or HPLC) with the mass analysis capabilities of mass spectrometry (MS). Coupled chromatography - MS systems are popular in chemical analysis because the individual capabilities of each technique are enhanced synergistically.
While liquid chromatography separates mixtures with multiple components, mass spectrometry provides structural identity of the individual components with high molecular specificity and detection sensitivity. This tandem technique can be used to analyze biochemical, organic, and inorganic compounds commonly found in complex samples of environmental and biological origin. Therefore, LC-MS may be applied in a wide range of sectors including biotechnology, environment monitoring, food processing, and pharmaceutical, Agrochemical, and cosmetic industries.

High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)
High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC; formerly referred to as high-pressure liquid chromatography), is a technique in analytical chemistry used to separate, identify, and quantify each component in a mixture. It relies on pumps to pass a pressurized liquid solvent containing the sample mixture through a column filled with a solid adsorbent material. Each component in the sample interacts slightly differently with the adsorbent material, causing different flow rates for the different components and leading to the separation of the components as they flow out the column.
HPLC has been used for manufacturing (e.g. during the production process of pharmaceutical and biological products), legal (e.g. detecting performance enhancement drugs in urine), research (e.g. separating the components of a complex biological sample, or of similar synthetic chemicals from each other), and medical (e.g. detecting vitamin D levels in blood serum) purposes.
In the Institute the instrument is being used to analyze the mycotoxin content in foodgrains viz Aflatoxin A, B etc.