Spicy Facts: Cinnamon and Black Pepper

Food adulteration and counterfeiting continues to grow as a worldwide issue of food safety and economic concern. Spices are one of the most commonly adulterated and counterfeited agricultural products in the US. Our previous study determined extensive elemental and heavy metals contamination and adulteration in spices. Many of our spice products were identified as possibly being highly adulterated or contaminated by metals. In our follow-up organic study, we focused on the organic markers and toxic organic compounds in our common spices and botanicals (black pepper and cinnamon) in various forms (i.e. spices, teas, condiments, and supplements) to determine if these products appeared to be adulterated from an organic compound standpoint as well as an elemental standpoint.

Cryogenic grinding and microwave extraction were employed in sample processing. Samples were extracted for the primary and secondary marker compounds native to each spice group and for any potentially toxic organic compounds (dyes, preservatives, pesticides, and industrial residual chemicals). The concentration and identity of compounds were compared across the groupings to cited concentration references for each marker or compound. Low concentrations of critical markers were found in low cost spice and botanical samples indicating potential adulteration. Samples that were previously suspect by ICP-MS examination were confirmed to be adulterated or economically compromised by reduced or absent concentration of these critical primary and secondary marker compounds. High levels of potentially toxic chemicals were also found in some of the previously suspect spice and spice product samples.

Click here for the complete app note ‘Identifying Counterfeiting, Adulteration & Contamination of Spices’: https://bit.ly/2Q22JZ3

You can also view our infographic for facts about spices https://bit.ly/2Cnardv

SPEX CertiPrep • 203 Norcross Avenue • Metuchen, NJ 08840
732.549.7144 • CRMMarketing@spex.comwww.spexcertiprep.com

Fish: Food for Thought

For years, the American Heart Association has recommended eating an average of two to three fishmeals each week to help reduce cholesterol, high blood pressure, and hardening of arteries. Research shows that consuming fish increases high quality protein with fewer calories, and it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acid helps to reduce the risk of coronary artery disease, helps in the treatment of bipolar disorder/depression, and helps reduce inflammation in autoimmune diseases (1,4). Fish are also low in sodium and a good source of potassium. Some examples of fatty, coldwater fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, mackerel, and herring.

Unfortunately, due to industrial pollution, many fish have high levels of contaminants including mercury, methyl mercury, and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), which are absorbed by surrounding waters and from foods they eat. Currently, the EPA limit for mercury in fish is 1 ppm. About 22% of all PCBs are in estuarine and coastal sediments, which accounts for 95% of the fish production (2). The EPA estimates up to 15% of mercury emissions from these utilities fall within 30 miles of a plant, and up to 50% falls within six hundred miles. The mercury bio-accumulates through the food chain and reaches the predator species. For example, a Nevada reservoir fish tissue sample shows an average of 0.47 ppm mercury; the EPA guidelines recommend limiting consumption of such fish to one 8-ounce meal per month for adults (3).

For humans, mercury and methyl mercury are toxic and can damage the brain and the nervous system. Mercury poisoning symptoms include numbness in hands and feet, general muscle weakness, and vision, hearing, and speech damage. In extreme cases, insanity, paralysis, coma, and death follow. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the EPA advised pregnant women and those who might become pregnant to avoid certain fish known to be high in mercury. This study will investigate trace element concentrations including heavy metal concentrations in different types of fish and fish oil supplements available from local markets in New Jersey.

Click here for the complete app note ‘Trace Elements in Fish and Fish Oil Supplements’: https://bit.ly/2Q1Yn41

You can also view our infographic for facts about the benefits and risks of fish consumption https://bit.ly/2wN3zB4

SPEX CertiPrep • 203 Norcross Avenue • Metuchen, NJ 08840732.549.7144 • CRMMarketing@spex.comwww.spexcertiprep.com

Salt & Human Consumption

SPEX CertiPrep is committed to educating you about food safety. As part of food safety awareness month, we will be presenting a series of blogs on studies we have completed regarding food safety. The first part of our series focuses on our study “Analysis of Gourmet Salts for the Presence of Heavy Metals”. We will be presenting 3 more studies throughout the month, so check back next week for part 2.

Salt has been a common commodity and household staple for thousands of years. Over the past decade salt has transformed from common product into a gourmet item with various origins, processing methods, representing all the colors and flavors of the gourmet spice market. Gourmet salt sales exceed $250 million dollars a year. Some exotic varieties are luxury products retailing for more than $20 an ounce compared to regular table salt at $0.02 an ounce.

This study examined a variety of gourmet salts for the elemental composition and for the presence of heavy metals. The salt samples represented many different colors, production methods, textures and price points.

Click here for the complete app note ‘Analysis of Gourmet Salts for the Presence of Heavy Metals: https://bit.ly/2LYI3hj

You can also view our infographic for facts about salt consumption and the human body https://bit.ly/2MWMSgE.

Check back next week for our next blog on Food Safety.

SPEX CertiPrep • 203 Norcross Avenue • Metuchen, NJ 08840
732.549.7144 • CRMMarketing@spex.comwww.spexcertiprep.com


NEW USP 232 Inhalation Products

We have expanded our USP Product Line!
Introducing our new line of USP <232> Inhalation Products

Inhalants are a well proven method for drug delivery first reported in the early 20th century. Inhalation therapy has become a mainstay in respiratory care since the inhaled drugs are localized to the target organs, which is not the case in injectable or ingestible therapies. Since inhaled compounds are concentrated in the target organs, it also means that any contaminants are also concentrated in the lungs as well. The USP has issued guidelines to limit the exposure of patients to heavy metal impurities and contaminants in all drug therapies including inhalation products.

We now offer Inhalation Mixes for USP 232, Revision 40. This is in addition to our existing USP Oral and Parenteral Mixes as well as mixes for Elemental Impurities and Precious Metal Impurities.

Check out our USP <232> Product Literature and Purchase Information here.

SPEX CertiPrep • 203 Norcross Avenue • Metuchen, NJ 08840
732.549.7144 • CRMMarketing@spex.com www.spexcertiprep.com

Where in the World is SPEX CertiPrep?

Check out SPEX CertiPrep at the following trade shows and events:

AOAC International – Toronto, ON Canada
August 26 – August 29
SPEX CertiPrep will have 3 posters displayed at AOAC:
  • How Much Lightning is in Your Morning Jolt: A Study of the Concentration of Caffeine and Other Organic Coffee Marker Molecules in Fast Food and Home-Brewed Coffee
  • Not Your Kids Apple Juice: An Examination of Arsenic Content in American and European Hard Ciders
  • Maximization of Analytical Cannabis Extractions and Sample Clean-Up Through the Use of a Single Process Combined Pressurized Fluid and Dispersive Solid Extraction (EDGE)
Cannabis Science Conference – Portland, OR
August 27 – August 29
BMSS – Cambridge, UK
September 11 – September 13
BERM-15 – Berlin, Germany
September 24 – September 26
SPEX CertiPrep will have an oral presentation and two posters at BERM-15:
  • Presentation: Challenges in the Development of Arsenic Species Reference Standards and the Their Use in the Analysis of Alcoholic Apple Ciders
  • Poster: Characterization of the Adulteration, Counterfeiting and Contamination of Spices, Spice Products and Health Supplements by the Use of Chemical Markers, Elemental Profiles and Standards
  • Poster: Case Study: The Examination of the Difficulties in Production of Reference Materials and Standards

ACIL Annual Meeting – San Antonio, TX
October 2 – October 5

ALMA – Philadelphia, PA
October 8 – October 11

Visit our Events Page for details on all of our upcoming events.

SPEX CertiPrep • 203 Norcross Avenue • Metuchen, NJ 08840
732.549.7144 • CRMMarketing@spex.comwww.spexcertiprep.com

SPEX CertiPrep hosts the New Jersey Bipartisan Legislative Manufacturing Caucus Hearing

On Tuesday, August 14, 2018 SPEX CertiPrep hosted the New Jersey Bipartisan Legislative Manufacturing Caucus Hearing.

NJMEP has been working closely with the NJ Legislative Manufacturing Caucus in an effort to help NJ manufacturers. This bipartisan group, led by Senators Gopal and Oroho, has already met multiple times, but their concentration had not been on NJ manufacturers. This hearing represents a change – and – is why NJMEP pushed to have it held at a manufacturer’s facility.

Attendees of the hearing included New Jersey legislators and representatives from 35 companies throughout New Jersey.

Topics that were discussed included:

  • Aluminum and steel tariffs
  • Increased minimum wage proposal
  • Labor shortages
  • Career opportunities and trades

Click below for more information regarding the caucus:

NJBIA: New Jersey Manufacturing Companies Say Federal Tariffs are Bad For Business

NJTV News: New Jersey Manufacturers Decry Impact of Tariffs, Labor Shortage at Caucus Hearing

NJBIZ: Manufacturers Decry ‘Nightmare’ of Steel, Aluminum Tariffs

NJMEP is a private, not for profit organization that improves the profitability and competitiveness of New Jersey’s manufacturers. Backed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), NJMEP enables organizations to enhance their productivity and efficiencies, reduce costs, and improve employee performance. For more than 20 years, NJMEP has used its extensive network of connections and proven track record of success to help manufacturers adapt to the latest innovative technologies and best practices to realize more than $3.4 billion in value. Our services are categorized into the following three areas: Operational Excellence, Innovation and Growth and Workforce Development.

Canadian Cannabis Pesticide Mixes and Kit


Introducing the NEW Canadian Pesticide Mixes and Kit to meet the requirements set forth by the Government of Canada

Chemical pesticides have become an integral part of the agricultural toolbox, offering protection to crops from destructive pests. However, an unfortunate side effect of their uses is the potential leaching of these, oftentimes, harmful chemicals into the environment leading to their eventual presence in the human food chain. As a result, pesticide residue analysis has become a critical testing process for many different types of laboratories.

For your convenience, we have designed a cannabis pesticide kit which contains the 95 compounds that are required to be tested based on regulations set by the Government of Canada. This requirement for mandatory testing for the presence of unauthorized pesticides will help ensure that Canadians can continue to have confidence in obtaining safe, quality-controlled medical cannabis from licensed producers.

CAN-CAN-KIT: Canadian Cannabis Pesticide Kit at 100 µg/mL in LC/MS Acetonitrile

Click here for Canadian Cannabis Mixes and Kit product details

How Are You Preparing Your Cannabis Samples for Testing


SPEX CertiPrep Analytical Standards for Medicinal and Recreational Cannabis Testing

SPEX CertiPrep introduces our NEWEST Certified Reference Materials to our CannStandards® product line.

Cannabis Terpene Kits

Terpenes in cannabis are a useful marker for identifying strains as well as flavor profiles. They may have a relationship with the cannabinoids through the “entourage effect” where the terpene and cannabinoid interact in modulating the overall effect of the cannabis.

CAN-TERP-KIT: Terpenes at 100 µg/mL in Methanol (42 components)
CAN-TERP-KIT-H: Terpenes at 1,000 µg/mL in Methanol (42 components).

Click here for Terpenes product details.

Click here to view our complete CannStandards® product line.

SPEX CertiPrep wins NJIT Top Diversity and Inclusion Supplier Award

Award Photo.jpg
SPEX CertiPrep is proud to have received the NJIT Award for Top Diversity and Inclusion Supplier for Career Development Services Best-in-Class Recruiting.
Career Development Services at NJIT put the program together for their NJIT Recruitment Partner Program. The Recognition and Awards Ceremony was held to recognize companies for partnering with NJIT in different ways. Awards went to “Top Employers of Co-ops and Interns”, “Best Public Sector Employer”, “Best Continuous Partner”, etc.
Our award fell under the “Top Diversity and Inclusion Supplier”. Three different groups from NJIT each nominated a company as their supporter. We were nominated by the Society of Women Engineers because of our partnership with them over the years. We have attended mentoring and networking events that they have held on campus for their members as well as other students.
This year we participated in a panel discussion to help the students get ready for the job fair that they were going to have, answering questions about the interview process and how to best present themselves.

Spreading the love in our community


This past year, SPEX’s companies supported the Stomp the Monster Foundation, which provides assistance to families who are struggling with the day to day hardships of dealing with cancer.  The money we raised was used to purchase gift cards that were given to the family to purchase food for holiday dinners, coats, and holiday presents for their children.

We adopted a family in New Jersey with four children whose youngest is age 2.  He is being treated for ALL Leukemia at the Valerie Fund Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center.   His mother requested gift cards for the family along with a wish list of small gifts for her son and his siblings, age 7, age, 5 and 4.

Seth Grumet, who founded Stomp the Monster, is himself a cancer survivor.  His story and several others are highlighted in the video below.  Families that have benefited are filled with gratitude for the financial and emotional support they received from Stomp the Monster when they needed it.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZHusQP1KmA.

If you are interested in supporting this very worthy cause, go to http://stompthemonster.org/

 100% of your donation will be given to the families in need.