Chemical Analysis

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At CSIRO or more specifically, in the Advanced Analytical laboratory, an emphasis is placed on chemical and forensic chemists. Their main role is to test food based on the guidelines of quality control and assurance. They work with testing contaminants, food processing, antibiotics and antifungals, as well as molecular DNA and PCR analysis. In charge of these chemists is Attila Totszer, one the managing partners of Advanced Analytical. He also works in conjunction with those in the laboratory providing expert advice on anything that is being tested.

Why is analytical chemistry becoming so important in society?

Analytical chemistry has always been a crucial aspect of the manufacturing process, however in the advancing world it is becoming necessary in other areas such as sport, construction, agriculture, microbiology, and DNA science.

On a simple level, this chemistry provides the nutritional information found on most packaged food. The recent fluctuation of new drugs to improve sporting capabilities has prompted the organisations conducting blood tests to improve their methods, namely through analytical chemistry. It is surprising how many areas of life analytical chemists are a part of. In infrastructure, there is an emphasis on building bigger and better, while still maintaining safety. Analytical chemistry provides thorough research into concretes and other structures, finding weaknesses down to the microscopic level. Even soil is tested in this way before something is built above it.

These are just a few examples of the role of analytical chemistry, and why it is becoming so important in society. Even the obvious branches such as forensics has become more advanced and reliable, pharmaceutical chemistry constantly relies on the consulting of analysis, and the food industry looks to laboratories such as Advanced Analytical for there range of testing services for food safety compliance.

Explain why it is important that chemists share their findings and collaborate as they collect data

Chemists work mostly in the field of food testing and drugs for human consumption. This prompts a testing service that is reliable and thorough in its research, exactly what analytical chemistry is based on. More specifically, chemists follow quality control and assurance (system for carrying something out and how it is carried out).

Data is collaborated much like fair testing of an experiment. As an example, in the Advanced Analytical laboratory, a senior R&D chemist such as, Attila Totszer, receives a client for food testing. A purpose, validation and guidelines are established then sent to the lab for testing. At the lab, quantitive and qualitative testing is done, finding out what chemicals are found and how much there is of each chemical. This is done by atomic and optical emission spectrometry. Data is then collected, all mistakes must be shown as the client must be aware of any discrepancies that occur. The residual limit for a chemical found is usually plus/minus 50%.

There is also the team building aspect that arises form chemists collaborating data, learning to work together in a laboratory and combine the minds of different people, for things such as advice. Also, data cannot be collaborated without chemists working together as a team. On a larger scale, intellectual proficiency trials are needed, as well as certificate analysis for credibility and quality control results. As one of the partners at Advanced Analytical recalled, it is irrelevant as to your qualifications and intelligence in the laboratory for analytical chemists if you do not collaborate results and build relationships with your colleagues. This therefore explains the importance of chemists who share their findings and collaborate their data.

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