Novus Hortus Ltd. was established in 1998 with the aim to produce and market products – intermediate and final – for the food, cosmetic and health sectors, using processes strictly natural.
The laboratory of Hortus Novus deals mainly with liquid chromatography, in particular high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The HPLC is the technique that is best suited to the analysis of food samples, biological, soil and / or water. This technique allows both qualitative analysis (identification of the analytes), and quantitative (determination of concentrations of the different active).
The HPLC systems provide greater efficiency in the chromatographic separation through the use of small particle size (10-3 μm in diameter) for the chromatographic column packing (stationary phase). The particle size of the stationary phase influence the efficiency of a column as it is one of the factors that can affect the enlargement of the chromatographic peaks. In the case of small particles, such as those used in HPLC, the packing is more regular and are minimized the effects of peak broadening related to the diffusion of the analytes in the interstitial spaces and the multiplicity of paths accessible to the mobile phase. The column size used may vary depending on the type of analyses to be performed; generally those most used are 250 mm long with an internal diameter of 4.6 mm and an outside of 6.35 mm and the particle size ranging from 5 to 3 microns.
The detection systems used are photometric and measure the radiation absorbed from flowing liquid. In the specific we use a photodiode array detector or DAD (Diode Array Detector), which allows simultaneous recording of the absorption spectrum in an extended range of wavelengths. Its operation is different from that of traditional detectors as the electromagnetic radiation is not monochromatic. The radiation output is separated into its components monochrome, the intensity of which is measured by a series of diodes.
Another detection system which is used is the fluorescence (spectrofluorimeter), able to exploit the properties of some substances to absorb UV light and re-emit part of the absorbed energy in the form of light at a lower frequency. Because there are fewer fluorescent analytes, these are often chemically modified before chromatography in order to analyse them. This detector is very sensitive and there is no interference from the mobile phase, which typically is not fluorescent.
A further boost to the laboratory came from the ability to use new and innovative UPLC (ultra performance liquid chromatography). The UPLC is the result of innovation Holistic who reinterpreted, at the same time, particle technology traditionally used in HPLC, the design of columns, injectors, pumps and detectors. The improved performance of the columns with a particle size of less than 2 μm, combined with the ability of these systems to deliver the mobile phase at high pressures with low leakage, preserving the advantages of such chromatographic stationary phases, producing peaks sharper and more resolved, as well as timing analysis very small (of the order of a few minutes).
These systems UPLC have both a diode-array detector spectrophotometric, that a mass detector. The mass spectrometer provides exceptional levels of sensitivity, selectivity, wide dynamic range, speed of analysis, quantitative accuracy in the analysis and the ability to determine the exact mass of the analytes and of any metabolites.
A further specific expertise available at the laboratory, relates to the field of Chemiometrics. This discipline aims to:
a) the maximum extraction of useful information from the data measured during the chemical process analytical chemist;
b) optimisation of the methods of analytical chemistry.
Chemiometrics uses procedures of statistics, mathematics and computer science. It studies essentially set of multivariate data, the result of experiments in which on a sample were determined quantity many chemical or physical methods, and considers the performance of which depend on several factors.
The chemiometric methods most commonly used by the laboratory include: development of predictive models based on multivariate regression methods both linear and non (artificial neural networks), cluster analysis, experimental design.