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Agilent Technologies to Host Seminars at International Dioxin Symposium in Madrid

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE:A) today announced it will host two seminars at the Dioxin 2014 International Symposium in Madrid, Spain. Food safety experts Dr. Peter Fürst, of Germany’s Chemical and Veterinary Analytical Institute (CVUA-MEL), and Dr. Jean-François (Jef) Focant, professor of organic and biological analytical chemistry at the University of Liège, will present data pertaining to recent dioxin screening and confirmation regulations enacted by the European Commission. Seminars will be conducted Monday, Sept. 1, and Thursday, Sept. 4.

The announcement comes just as EC regulations have changed to include provisions for validating triple quadrupole GC/MS technology as a confirmatory method for identifying dioxins, furans (PCDD/Fs) and dioxin-like PCBs (DL-PCBs) in food and animal feed (EC No. 589/2014 and 709/2014, respectively).

“This new legislation represents an important step in further protecting the global food chain through the ability of more labs to perform testing,” said professor Focant. “In our lab we have already proven that a method applied on an Agilent 7000C Triple Quadrupole GC/MS System meets official EC requirements for the confirmatory analysis of PCDD/Fs and DL-PCBs in vegetable oil. The validation will be extended to other matrices in the near future.”


At a luncheon seminar on Monday, Dr. Fürst will present GC-MS/MS: More Ions Means Much More than Lower Detection Limits—Application to Demanding Dioxin Analysis in Food Samples.

At a luncheon seminar on Thursday, Dr. Focant will present Full Validation of a GC-MS/MS Confirmatory Method for Dioxins Analysis Following New European Regulations.

For more program information and to review speaker abstracts, click here.

Dioxins and dioxin-like compounds are highly toxic environmental contaminants known as persistent organic pollutants (POPs). By-products of industrial and some natural processes, they are found throughout the world and accumulate in the fatty tissue of animals. Chronic exposure to these substances can cause cancer, reproductive and developmental problems, and serious immune diseases.

“The major pathway of these contaminants is via food,” said Dr. Fürst, whose laboratory was the first to fully evaluate a triple quadrupole GC/MS system for dioxin analysis in food and feed, comparing samples against sector mass spectrometers. “In our study, we were impressed that Agilent’s instrument was able to unequivocally confirm results at extremely low levels in food and feed. We were able to show for the first time that triple quadrupole GC/MS can offer an effective alternative to high-resolution mass spectrometry.”

“Routine measurement of PCDD/Fs and DL-PCBs at sub-parts-per-trillion-levels is very challenging and requires the most sensitive detection technology available—even when an extensive extraction and clean-up process has been applied,” said John Lee, global market manager of Agilent’s Food Science business. “Agilent’s latest-generation triple quadrupole GC/MS systems provide this optimal performance, combined with robust EI ion-source technology and heated gold quadrupole design to ensure that the system stays clean and performs consistently.”

“Traditionally, only a limited number of laboratories around the world have had access to the sophisticated methodologies necessary for dioxins and POPs analysis,” added Lee. “With new regulations and new methods to more easily implement other key stages like extraction and clean-up, we now see that many more food, environmental and agricultural labs can readily perform rapid, affordable, high-volume dioxin screening and confirmation with Agilent’s GC/MS/MS solutions.”

Agilent provides a complete line of solutions for food testing and agriculture. For more information, visit Food Authenticity, Quality and Profiling Solutions. The company’s industry-leading GC/MS solutions can be used in diverse applications such as food safety, pharmaceutical research and development, environmental analysis, forensic science, metabolomics, proteomics and clinical research.

About Peter Fürst

Professor Peter Fürst is the head of the Department of Central Analytical Services in the Chemical and Veterinary Analytical Institute (CVUA) in Munster, Germany. His team is involved in official European Union food and feed control. Dr. Fürst is an expert in the analysis of residues and contaminants in food, feed and human samples. He is member of the EFSA Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain since 2006.

Click here to view a video and learn more about Professor Fürst and his work at CVUA.

About Jean-François (Jef) Focant

Jean-François (Jef) Focant is a professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Liège in Belgium, which is part of the EU’s National Reference Laboratory Network for Dioxins and PCBs. The lab also performs routine control work in food. Professor Focant was part of the EU’s working group to establish the new regulation. He has been active in the field of dioxin analyses for the past 15 years and chaired the International Dioxin Symposium in Brussels in 2011.

About Agilent Technologies

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE:A) is the world's premier measurement company and a technology leader in chemical analysis, life sciences, diagnostics, electronics and communications. The company's 20,600 employees serve customers in more than 100 countries. Agilent had revenues of $6.8 billion in fiscal 2013. Information about Agilent is available at

On Sept. 19, 2013, Agilent announced plans to separate into two publicly traded companies through a tax-free spinoff of its electronic measurement business. The new company is named Keysight Technologies, Inc. The separation is expected to be completed in early November 2014.

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