2. Chemistry & Toxicology

The Introduction and set-up of a High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) system for the detection & determination of preservatives, sweeteners, artificial colours & other additives and contaminants in specified foods

Project Reference:

Synergy project



Commencement Date:

September, 2001

Project Duration:

22 months


The DR-CALUX assay uses genetically modified animal cells to detect, specifically and quantitatively, toxicity caused by exposure to dioxin and dioxin-like PCBs in a wide range of matrices, including food. This assay detects dioxins based on their specific biological activity towards genetically modified living cells through light generation from the recombinant cells.  The project focussed primarily on method development.

Principal Contractor(s):

Mr Michael Walker, Public Analyst’s Laboratory, Northern Ireland


Mr Peadar Canavan, Western Region Public Analyst’s Laboratory, Galway



Laboratory capacity building

Peer review:

M. J. Walker, J. McShane, D. Thorburn Burns, P. Canavan and A.Flanagan, 2009, A Cross-border Method Validation for the Determination of Sweeteners in Soft Drinks, J. Assoc. Public Analysts, JAPA (Online)(2009) Volume 37 pg 1-13, available (open access) at JAPA (Online) Volume_36-37

M J Walker, J Mairs and D Thorburn Burns, 2011, Intense Sweeteners and Preservatives: Contemporary Regulation and Historical Baseline Data of the Nature and Amounts in Soft Drinks on open sale in Northern Ireland, JAPA (Online) (2011) Volume 39 pg