QuEChERS Workshops in South Africa

One of the best things about working at Restek is their commitment to continuing education for chromatographers, both inside and outside of their doors. This takes many forms, including the seminars produced by Rick Parmely, our Training Director, and through other efforts like the QuEChERS workshops I’m currently doing in South Africa. In the last two weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of watching many “students” extract their own samples using the EN QuEChERS approach, and we’ve even analyzed those extracts by fast GC-TOFMS (more on that in another blog…), all in about 3 hours, not bad considering the time involved in more classical extractions.

Two workshops were held at the University of Pretoria, one at the Forensic Chemistry Laboratory in Cape Town, and two were held at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (Pietermaritzburg and Westville campuses). We extracted fruits, vegetables, spices, wine, sediments, flavorings, herbs, freeze-dried mussel tissue, and other matrices for pesticides, drugs, medicinally active compounds, PAHs, PCBs, and other compounds. We did it all!

Even with a method as simple as QuEChERS, these workshops could not happen without the dedicated efforts of many people. My colleague Julie Kowalski produced the excellent training binder for the workshops. LECO Africa sponsored my attendance, and provided the able assistance of Peter Gorst-Allman and Alexander Whaley to keep things running smoothly. Thulani Webster Shubangu at the Forensics Chemistry Laboratory in Cape Town was a gracious host. The South African Chemical Institute, thanks to Martin Dovey at FlavourCraft, sponsored the workshops at KZN campuses, with Ross Robinson at PM going above and beyond the call of duty to retrieve our lunch in a hail storm! In addition, lab activities were greatly facilitated by Yvette, Alan, Neil, Carol, Anita, and others whose names I have forgotten, but whose helpfulness I haven’t. A good time was had by all.

Enjoy these photographs of the activities at KZN PM…

Martin Dovey of FlavourCraft weighs his flavor samples for QuEChERS extraction.

Students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal weigh samples for the QuEChERS workshop.

Checking out the QuEChERS extractions at KZN PM!

Centrifuging the extracts. This is easy...

We're almost done and we can analyze the extracts...quick.

The hail storm that almost ruined our pizza lunch (and did ruin Ross Robinson's clothes!).

One Response to “QuEChERS Workshops in South Africa”

  1. Gary Stidsen says:

    Hi Jack,
    Thanks for posting. This is a good article, and shows Restek continuing education which is important.

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