What Are Some Practical and Everyday Uses of Chromatography?

 What Are Some Practical and Everyday Uses of Chromatography?

Did you know Mikhail Semenovich Tswett invented chromatography in 1906? The invention was originally used to study plant pigments.

Today, chemistry labs use chromatography for a variety of life sciences, important testing and so much more. 

Are you unsure of chromatography’s vast uses and applications? The following guide will fill you in on its most common practical and everyday uses. Read on to learn why this laboratory technique is so important.

Testing Food

The food industry uses chromatography for quality control. The process separates and analyzes additives, preservatives, vitamins, amino acids, and proteins. The process uses well plates like those made by Chrom Tech.

Chromatography can also detect contaminants like aflatoxin using separation. This is important because the chemical aflatoxin is a peanut mold that can cause cancer.

The technique is also used to determine the true contents of processed meat and make sure vendors are being honest about what they’re selling.

Testing will also help determine the shelf life of food and the point at which food spoils.

Testing Beverages

Drink manufacturers use chromatography to maintain the consistency of each bottle of their product so they stay exactly the same. It’s important so that every beverage of a particular brand tastes the same.

Some manufactures also use this technique to monitor sugar levels. Nutritional values of both drink and food samples are determined by using chromatographic testing as well.

Creating Vaccines

Chromatography helps to identify which antibodies fight different diseases and viruses. Scientists used Chromatography to combat Ebola and develop the experimental immunization called Zmapp.

Immunoaffinity chromatography is a column-based technique. It purifies vaccines for several viruses, toxins, and proteins. It’s also used in the development of other new drugs by testing for purity.

Drug Testing

The chromatography technique will accurately identify substances found in the bloodstream. It is commonly used in sports to test for performance-enhancing drugs in athletes.

It’s also used in common drug testing when applying for a new job, or random drug tests for current employees.

Forensic Testing

Gas chromatography is sometimes used to help solve criminal cases. The technique is applied at crime scenes to analyze blood and cloth samples. It determines alcohol levels, drugs, and poisons found in the body.

It can also identify chemicals responsible for a fire in an arson case. This can help determine if the fire was an accident or started intentionally. 

Chemical Testing

The chemical industry uses chromatography to test the purity of water samples. Air samples are also tested for purity with the technique.

Chromatography tests pesticides and oil for toxic contaminants. They use specialized techniques, such as gas chromatography and high-performance liquid chromatography. This also has crossover into helping keep our foods safe.

The Value of Chromatography

Now you know what chromatography is, how it’s applied, and what industries use this effective technique. It’s an essential tool for food safety, drug development, and even solving crimes. It’s no doubt valuable in the lab!

Check out our other posts if you’d like to learn more about health and tech.

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