Dispatches from Vitafoods Europe 2011

LGC forms doping and contaminants testing unit

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Nutrition

LGC forms doping and contaminants testing unit
Third party tester, LGC, has formed a new testing service that combines banned substance and additive testing, and follows its recent acquisition of HFL Sport Science in December, 2010.

The new unit – called Health Sciences – will be headed up by the chief executive officer of HFL Sport Science and new director of Health Sciences at LGC, David Hall, and will broaden HFL’s former doping control focus into the additives and contaminants specialisation of LGC.

Speaking to NutraIngredients at Vitafoods Europe this morning, representatives of HFL and LGC said the new unit would cover everything from banned additives to food dyes to E-numbers to steroids and unathorised pharmaceuiticals.

“HFL Sport Science will retain its name but for all intents and purposes all activities now come under the LGC Health Sciences brand,”​ said the HFL spokesperson.

Services provided by the new combined group will include:

  • banned substances testing for World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) banned substances
  • nutritional biomarkers
  • heavy metals analysis
  • herbals and botanicals testing
  • veterinary drug residues
  • pesticides
  • mycotoxins

Hall spoke of the customer benefits and international potential of the merged entity. “By bringing together the knowledge, expertise and instrumentation of LGC and HFL into a single new business entity called Health Sciences we believe that this will bring significant benefit to our customers. We are the first in the market to offer customers both banned substances and additives testing. In addition, this will open up a range of market opportunities in the UK, Europe and the USA.”

Positive list

WADA-recognised HFL produces a positive list of food supplements that has won the endorsement of UK elite sports body, UK Sport. Supplement products can pay from €1300 to gained Informed Sport certification from HFL. Currently the list is 109 products-strong.


HFL uses assays for phytoestrogens​, vitamin D​ and carotenoids​ as a means to better understand the link between diet and diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, obesity and osteoporosis – and building health claim dossiers.

Previously Hall said the tests used a combination of liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry to deliver nutrient scrutiny​at highly sensitive levels that assisted clinical trial design and allowed for the delivery of more accurate results.

“While the technologies are not new, the way they are being applied is, but we believe the kind of data these assays can deliver is exactly the kind of data being requested by the European authorities in regard to health claims​,” ​he said.

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