Alkemist Labs Announces Two New Contaminant Testing Platforms, Three Additional Service Expansions, and ISO 17025 Renewal

Residual Solvents and Microbiological Testing Platforms, a New THC Analog Panel, Astaxanthin, and Lower Heavy Metals Quantitation Limits

Garden Grove, CA (January 18, 2023) – Alkemist Labs has expanded its suite of services to include microbiological and residual solvents testing which, along with previously launched pesticides and heavy metals testing, provides a full suite of testing services for clients.  In addition, Alkemist has added testing for THC Analogs such as delta 8 & 10, Astaxanthin esters, and lower limits of detection for heavy metals. 

All of the new services but astaxanthin are included in Alkemist Lab’s A2LA ISO 17025 scope of accreditation (3851.01), which has just been renewed through February 2026. Previously launched services for psychedelic testing are added to the ISO scope, making Alkemist the first lab with this many psychoactive compounds from a number of different botanical sources listed on their ISO scope. All of Alkemist’s other accredited services including Identification by HPTLC, Identification by microscopy, Cannabinoids quantification by HPLC, Terpenes content by GC-FID, and Pesticides content  by LC-MS/GC-MS/MS have also been renewed through February 2026. 

“For years clients have said they wished Alkemist could meet all their testing needs so they could be as confident in all aspects of testing as they are in botanical and fungal identity, and we heard them,” said Alkemist Labs CEO Elan Sudberg. “Although it takes time to acquire new instrumentation, develop and validate test methods, and then get all that included in our ISO accreditation, this is a great achievement. I’m proud of the Alkemist staff for this expansion, and excited to meet our clients’ needs in so many new areas.”

Microbiology methods are based on the requirements in USP <2021>, <2022>, & <2023>.  The USP and AHPA limits are based on the sample type (unprocessed botanical, extract, and finished products).

  • Salmonella spp.  (absence/presence)
  • Total Aerobic counts (enumeration)
  • Total Combined Yeast & Molds (enumeration)
  • Enterobacteria count (enumeration)
  • Escherichia coli (absence/presence)

Residual solvents, using USP <467> method to detect the Class 1, 2, and 3 solvents. Residual solvents in this context are organic volatile chemicals used or produced in the manufacturing of dietary ingredients, or in the preparation of dietary supplement products. Appropriate selection of the solvent for botanicals may enhance the yield or determine characteristics such as solubility. Residual solvents do not provide therapeutic benefit, and some are toxic, so they should be removed.

The USP <467> method defines acceptable amounts of residual solvents in pharmaceutical drug products and dietary supplement products for consumer safety. While tests for residual solvents are not generally mentioned in specific monographs because the solvents used may vary from one manufacturer to another, the limits to be applied must comply with those specified in USP <467>. Another reason for this testing is as a safety check to verify that any solvents used for cleaning manufacturing equipment were completely removed before products were made. If cleaning solvents are not completely rinsed it can cause unintentional contamination, which is why even products that are water extracted should be tested for residual solvents.   

THC Analog Panel by HPLC: While Δ9 Tetrahydrocannabinol is the most abundant form of THC in cannabis, for which accurate testing is critical to meet hemp regulatory requirements, other THC Analogs are a growing concern.  While such analog compounds are naturally occurring cannabinoids, they are only found at trace levels.  Their presence can indicate manipulation or degradation of natural extracts. In addition to the existing 12 cannabinoid panel, Alkemist has launched a new THC Analog method to detect this panel of compounds: 

  • Δ8-THC (Δ8-Tetrahydrocannabinol), 
  • Δ9-THC (Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol)
  • Δ10-THC (Δ10-Tetrahydrocannabinol)
  • 9R-HHC (9R-Hexahydrocannabinol)
  • 9S-HHC (9S-Hexahydrocannabinol

Astaxanthin Esters: As part of Alkemist’s growing offerings for botanicals, fungi, and marine organisms, Alkemist has added astaxanthin testing per the USP monograph for both identity by HPTLC as well as assay of total astaxanthins by HPLC.  This expansion outside botanicals and fungi was in response to client request, driven by consumer interest in the carotenoid family, as well as limited third party lab availability for testing these sensitive compounds.  

Heavy Metals – Lower Quantitation Limits: Alkemist has further enhanced its heavy metals testing to test products with higher serving sizes such as beverages and scooped powders.  Products like these require more sensitive testing to meet California proposition 65 requirements.  In response to client demand, Alkemist now offers Limit of Quantitation (LOQ) of 10 ppb (parts per billion) for Arsenic, Cadmium, and Mercury and 20 ppb for Lead. 

For more information or to submit samples, contact sales@alkemist. 

About Alkemist Labs

Alkemist Labs is an ISO 17025 accredited contract testing laboratory specializing in plant authentication, botanical ingredient identification, quantitative analytical services and contaminant screening for the Food & Beverage, Nutraceutical and Cosmeceutical industries. Located in a state-of-the-art facility in Garden Grove, California, Alkemist Labs offers clients a wide range of specialty research services to evaluate the identity, purity, and quality of botanical raw materials, dietary ingredients, and finished products. DEA registered 1, 2, 3n, and 4 for over 20 years, Alkemist is also approved to be on California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) list for hemp testing. Alkemist Labs also produces a complete line of Composite Reference Botanicals (CRBs), critical tools for botanical identity verification. Since it was founded in 1997, Alkemist Labs has become the ideal “Partner for Quality” to companies interested in producing high quality natural products requiring independent, third-party analysis, Stability/Shelf-life studies, Certification of Analysis, and cGMP compliance.

Suzanne Shelton, The Shelton Group
Cell: 847-922-545

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