The kit was developed by the China Solutions Center following the 235 [bulletin] by the ministry.
Compounds are running in one sample preparation method and one injection, reducing time from around five days from one sample to about several hours and following the Ministry of Agriculture method.
It uses LC triple quad technology and an optimised MRM database based on the matrixes.
A challenging analytical analysis
Cynthia Cai, of Agilent, explained to FoodQualityNews how the kit works.
“The significance of that, first of all, is veterinary drugs are a challenging analytical analysis because of the matrixes, milk or meat or high fat content matrixes, and also it includes many different kinds of class,” she said.
“In the Ministry of Agriculture 235 [bulletin] there are about 32 classes of veterinary drugs, so it is very difficult to run together and often requires different sample preparation methods and then a different analysis method.
“The other significance is because we have the presence around the world, we were able to have a collaboration with different experts including the expert in the USDA on the sample prep and some European customers and then the China Solutions Center leveraged the technical learning we had and designed this application kit to meet the Chinese regulation.”
Agilent showed the kit at analytica China 2016 earlier this month.
A total of 24,582 professional instrument users, scientists and researchers, an increase of 31% compared to the 2014 edition (18,775), visited the trade show.
Analytica China covered 35,000 square meters of exhibition space - an increase of 17% compared to the last event. 848 exhibitors (+22%) from 25 countries and districts attended.
Cai said it is one of the biggest shows in China and being in Shanghai means the firm has a lot of industry who are target customers.
Because of the nature of veterinary drugs it is not easy to put multiple classes of compounds together, said Cai.
“Any of the kits we release the customer will have three years subscription services for free meaning whenever we have improvements they will get access for free,” she said.
“We have the full intention to enhance this method by increasing the number of compounds, but they have to be relevant, it is not just the number, and also optimise the matrix to add into it or if their enhancements depending on the new technology coming up in the future.”
Cai said the kit is designed based on the Ministry of Agriculture list which is very similar to elsewhere as many parts of the world are using similar drugs, however, there are some variations.
“We are planning to introduce beyond China but at this moment we are only introducing in China to make sure we have the full focus and attention to the Chinese customer,” she said.
“[This is] not only to provide the application kit but also to include the advanced services, so specific services designed for this method. So we will have the service engineer to work with customers after they purchase the product.”
Chinese market potential
China is the home of the company’s largest gas chromatography production line.
Cai said it has a collaboration approach with target customer segments to develop methods to meet a regulation.
“If there is anything different [between regions], we put some emphasis on China because of the growth and opportunities there. For example, we have the China Solutions Center in Shanghai, specifically in China for China solution development,” she said.
“One standout, at least to me, Agilent before it was spun-off was part of Hewlett-Packard, and HP was the first joint venture company in China after China opened up to the Western World.
“Agilent ever since has a major presence there and had continuous collaboration with our customers. The GC product line is only one of them.”
Cai said growth has been tremendous in the last 20 years and the potential continues to be huge.
“China is a strategic region for Agilent and that is why we have the presence there. Growth in China is tremendous and production is exported globally,” she said.
“The gas chromatographs we sell in the US or Europe, many are produced in China following Agilent standard and the regulatory requirements for different countries. China has put a lot of emphasis on food safety and made great progress and the regulations.
“The growth is getting to the place where the testing is there, right now, we are facing more difficult testing issues and require more speed with the productivity or meeting the local regulatory requirements and at the same time having the reliable instrument.”