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NMR Testing: An Essential Tool in Research and Development Protocols

Healthy brands and businesses are frequently refining the ingredients and components in their products. A company’s research and development (R&D) team may propose new or enhanced ingredients to a product for several reasons: 

  • Improved quality
  • Lower cost
  • Better availability
  • Improved Performance
  • Improved Regulations

Often products are made up of numerous ingredients sourced from multiple suppliers. This can make it challenging to ensure that each ingredient is of the highest quality and free from adulterants. In the worst of cases, a new, untested ingredient in a product can cause adulteration. If discovered, a recall can occur. Recalls can be major setbacks for any business: they require immediate action and communication may result in an on-going impact to a brand’s reputation.  

For valuable brands, new ingredient testing should be part of all research and development protocols when any product formulation is revised. By investing in this important stage of R&D, brands can ensure the authenticity of all ingredients and formulations and identify the optimal composition of raw ingredients and finished products.  

In this context, NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) is a valuable tool for R&D.  NMR is a non-targeted analytical technique that uses a magnetic field and radiofrequency radiation to examine the molecular structure and composition of a sampleIt can provide a great deal of information such as:  

  • Detailed information about the chemical composition of a product
  • The identity of chemical compounds present in a sample
  • The quantification of compounds present in a sample
  • The detection of contaminants or adulterants

It is also a powerful testing method for a few reasons:

  • Unlike traditional testing methods such as chromatography, NMR analysis can provide a wealth of information about the molecular composition of a product. This is because NMR detects the magnetic properties of the atomic nucleus, providing information about the chemical environment of the atoms within the molecule.   
  • It can be used to study the molecular structure and composition of complex mixtures without prior knowledge of their components.
  • Investing in NMR analysis allows companies to build a comprehensive library of reference spectra that can be used for comparison with future samples, ensuring the safety and consistent quality of their products.  

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