Laboratory of Chemical Analysis (LCA)

The Laboratory of Chemical Analysis (LCA, headed by Prof. L. Vanhaecke) belongs to the Department of Veterinary Public Health and Food Safety (Ghent University) and has over 40 years of experience in the analysis of residues and contaminants in food matrices of animal origin. During the last decade, this general sphere of activity has been expanded to emerging micropollutants and bioactive food constituents, situated within the farm to fork approach, which is specifically directed towards food safety and quality in the European Union. In addition, various new and divergent biological matrices have been embedded into the expertise of LCA. Hereby, the developed analytical strategies are typically multi-compound approaches that aim at the detection and measurement of a wide range of analytes. In light of their low concentration levels (ppt or ppb) and the complexity of the analyzed biological specimens, high-end analytical apparatus are required. In this context, LCA has 1 HPLC-MSn, and 1 UHPLC-QqQ-MS/MS at its disposition, which enables the identification and accurate quantification of compounds in complex food matrices.

Since 2010, a new analytical path was entered, thereby exploiting the possibilities of high-resolution mass spectrometry based (untargeted) metabolomics, enclosing multi-component screening and enabling for instance biomarker studies, which are specifically designed to serve multiple applications within human and veterinary medicine with a particular focus on gastrointestinal diseases (most importantly colon cancer and inflammatory bowel disease). To this end, 1 UHPLC-Orbitrap-HRMS, 1 UHPLC-Q-Orbitrap-HRMS, and 1 REIMS Research system are currently available at LCA. It should hereby be noted that LCA has established an in-depth expertise towards validation of HRMS methods, processing and statistical analysis of multivariate MS-data, biological interpretation of obtained outcomes, and biomarker validation. In this regard, especially the new technological advances, consolidating the fragmentation capabilities of triple quadrupole instruments in the HRMS apparatus, have strengthened the metabolomic potential of LC-MS.

LCA is partner in Food2Know (Centre of Excellence for feed, food and health Flanders), CRIG (Cancer Research Institute Ghent), GGIG (Ghent Gut Inflammation Group), NuGO (Association of Universities and Research Institutes focusing on the joint development of the research areas of molecular nutrition, personalised nutrition, nutrigenomics and nutritional systems biology) and Marine@UGent (UGent Marine Sciences Center of Excellence).


Picture staff LCA 2019