Analytical Science news

Nico Van Loon, Analytical Services Group Manager
12 December 2017

Trend watch: Analytical Services

The year may be drawing to a close, but Analytical Services is buzzing. The team is processing important summer samples and researching fresh innovations for 2018. In planning for the year ahead I’ve been considering trends in the food and nutraceutical space, and will share a couple of my insights.

Past trends as an indication of future

In 2017, we heard from industry that turn-around time and new testing methods are high on the wish-list. As a research organisation our strengths are in developing/delivering new tests and implementing new technologies. So we rose to this challenge.

We validated and implemented a very robust and fast PCR method for Listeria, and we developed and validated a world first LCMS method for paralytic shellfish toxins. The Ministry for Primary Industries have now approved this for export certification purposes.

This need for speed and innovation will be equally vital in 2018.

Continual improvement has been another theme within our lab and is another trend showing little sign of slowing. In the year that was we set up our KAM Business Development system and upgraded our laboratory information system. This will allow us to put some customer focussed solutions in place in the near future, such as logging in online and more detailed customer reports.

Implementing a PCR method for Listeria is one of many 2017 highlights (left and bottom right photos: Tim Cuff)

So what might next year look like?

Looking ahead we see potential tech disruption influencing analytical testing methodology. We expect faster methods, more sensitive methods as well as remote sensors and rapid kits that will eventually become more reliable and may even get through the regulatory system. Cawthron is very well placed to manage this change. With our research capability and close industry relationships, we are already working on this type of advancement and preparing to support the transition.

To make sure we’re applying these opportunities in the areas that will make a real difference to your business, we’ll be paying close attention to what you as our customer think, and need. Our focus will be on listening to you – so we can provide you with the best service.

Thank you to all our customers, suppliers, and partners for the year that was. We look forward to continuing to work with you in 2018.

Happy holidays,
Nico Van Loon
Analytical Services Group Manager | Cawthron Institute