Case Study

Enhancing Pesticide Extraction

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A key client sought to conduct a radiovalidation study that required the extraction of radiolabelled pesticides from soil. The client requested to incorporate a specific piece of equipment into the pesticide extraction methodology that Battelle Crop Protection did not own. In addition, scientific research available on the use of this equipment was limited. What steps did Battelle Crop Protection take to address the challenge, overcome the limitations of existing techniques, and meet the clients’ requirements?

The Solution

When the client approached Battelle with the requirement to conduct a radiovalidation study, the first limitation was the equipment. Our client requested to use a new high-throughput sample homogenizer. They explored the feasibility of conducting the study without the instrument, but identified several limitations. The new instrument offered higher sample throughput, increased extractability of pesticides, and improved reproducibility compared to traditional extraction methods using other grinders/shakers. Battelle embarked on an extensive research and evaluation process, under pressing time. Their primary objective was to ensure that the new equipment would integrate seamlessly into their existing processes, while complying with Good Laboratory Practices (GLP). This process involved comprehensive background research, rigorous supplier selection, and thorough risk assessments. To validate the suitability of the homogenizer, early-stage laboratory testing was conducted. This testing included trialling the client's provided method to ensure that the instrument met the specific requirements of their methodology. Furthermore, compliance with the latest GLP computer system and data integrity guidance (OECD 17 & 22) was investigated, ensuring the equipment's futureproofing.
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The Outcome

Battelle provided a tailor-made solution and invested in their clients' interests by purchasing a new sample homogenizer. As an outcome, Battelle reinforced their client relationship and expanded their portfolio of available E-fate and residue analysis studies. The radiovalidation project was executed promptly, and collaboration across the E-fate department ensured its readiness for GLP use within the required timeframe for the client. Additionally, the implementation of the new equipment provided valuable insights into how it could be integrated into future pesticide extraction methodologies. Battelle UK's E-fate and Residue departments leveraged this opportunity and are now actively exploring ways to incorporate this into other established analytical processes, aiming to increase sample throughput and study efficiency for future projects.

The sample homogenizer has several significant advantages, adding value to Battelle Crop Protection's solutions:

  1. Increased Study Efficiency: With the capability to extract up to 16 samples simultaneously, the equipment significantly enhances study efficiency compared to established methodologies. This high-throughput capacity reduces sample processing time, enabling faster project turnaround.
  2. Time Savings: Streamlining the preparation and clean-up processes, minimizing manual labour, and reducing overall project duration. This time-saving feature allows researchers to allocate resources more effectively, focusing on data analysis and interpretation.
  3. Reproducible Outcomes: By utilizing the equipment, Battelle ensures consistent and reproducible pesticide extraction results. The equipment's precise control and optimized extraction parameters minimize variability, enhancing the reliability and accuracy of the study outcomes.
  4. Adaptable Methodologies: Now that Battelle UK has a new sample homogenizer onsite, we can begin to incorporate its benefits into both new and existing pesticide extractions. The equipment’s interface of programmable parameters enables its adaptability to a broad range of study types and the ability to develop custom extraction regimes for our clients. 
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