We have experience with a wide range of crop matrices including:

  • Maize
  • Soy
  • Cotton
  • Canola
  • Cassava
  • Rice
  • Pennycress
  • Potato
  • Eggplant
  • Turf Grass
  • Sorghum

We have experience with fractions, processed fractions, and formulations of many of these crops including:

  • Forage
  • Oil
  • Hulls
  • Meal
  • Feed
  • Grain
  • Roots


Some components of plants are considered to be anti-nutrients. While anti-nutrients are not particularly toxic, repeated exposure to them can result in decreased utilization of dietary nutrients thus making them of interest in food nutrition and safety evaluations. Below is a list of anti-nutrients that are currently included in our validated methods:

  • Gossypol-Free
  • Gossypol-Total
  • Raffinose
  • Inositol
  • Coumestrol
  • Lectins
  • Phytic Acid
  • Oligosacchrides
    • Raffinose
    • Stachyose
    • Sucrose
  • Sinapine
  • Tannins (Soluble and Insoluble)
  • Trypsin Inhibitor
  • Glucosinolates Profile
    • 4-hydroxyglucobrassicin,
    • 4-methoxyglucobrassicin
    • Epi-progoitrin
    • Glucoalyssin
    • Glucobrassicanapin
    • Glucobrassicin
    • Glucoiberin
    • Gluconapin
    • Gluconapoleiferin
    • Gluconasturtiin
    • Glucoraphanin
    • Neoglucobrassicin
    • Progoitrin
  • Soy Allergens


Heavy Metals

Our laboratory uses advanced equipment to perform precise analysis of heavy metals in agricultural products. These services are conducted by experienced team members and include:

  • Arsenic
  • Cadmium
  • Chromium
  • Cobalt
  • Lead
  • Molybdenum
  • Nickel
  • Selenium
  • Copper
  • Mercury
  • Zinc

Pesticide Screens

All EPL BAS pesticide residue analyses are performed using the best technology available including GC MS-MS.

  • Phorate
  • Alpha-BHC
  • Hexachlorobenzene
  • Beta-BHC
  • Gamma-BHC (Lindane)
  • Diazinon
  • Disulfoton
  • Delta-BHC
  • Methyl parathion
  • Heptachlor
  • Malathion
  • Aldrin
  • Ethyl Parathion
  • Heptachlor epoxide
  • trans-Chlordane
  • cis-Chlordane
  • Endosulfan I
  • 4’,4’ DDE
  • Dieldrin
  • Endrin
  • Endosulfan II
  • 4',4' DDD
  • Ethion
  • Carbophenothion (Trithion)
  • 4',4' DDT
  • Endosulfan sulfate
  • Methoxychlor
  • Mirex
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB's)
    • 2-Chlorobiphenyl PCB#1
    • 2,3-Dichlorobiphenyl PCB#5
    • 2,2"5-Trichlorobiphenyl PCB#18
    • 2,4',5-Trichlorobiphenyl PCB#31
    • 2,2,,5,5'-Tetrachlorobiphenyl PCB#52
    • 2,2',3,5'-Tetrachlorobiphenyl PCB#44
    • 2,3',4,4'-Tetrachlorobiphenyl PCB#66
    • 2,2',4,5,5'-Pentachlorobiphenyl PCB#101
    • 2,2',3,4,5'-Pentachlorobiphenyl PCB#86
    • 2,3,3',4'.6-Pentachlorobiphenyl PCB#110
    • 2,2',3,5,5',6-Hexachlorobiphenyl PCB#151
    • 2,2',4,4',5,5'-Hexachlorobiphenyl PCB#153
    • 2,2',3,4,5,5'-Hexachlorobiphenyl PCB#141
    • 2,2' ,3,4,4',5'-Hexachlorobiphenyl PCB#138
    • 2,2',3,4',5,5',6-Heptachlorobiphenyl PCB#187
    • 2,2',3,4,4',5',6-Heptachlorobiphenyl PCB#183
    • 2,2',3,4,4',5,5'-Heptachlorobiphenyl PCB#180
    • 2,2',3,3',4,4',5-Heptachlorobiphenyl PCB#170
    • 2,2',3,3',4,4',5,5',6-Nonachlorobiphenyl PCB#206


Mycotoxins are naturally occurring secondary metabolites produced by molds that are considered to be contaminants in many agricultural commodities.

  • Aflatoxins B1,B2, G1, G2
  • Cyclopiazonic Acid
  • Deoxynivalenol, 3-acetyl-deoxynivalenol, 15-acetyl-deoxynivalenol
  • Zearalenone
  • Fumonisins B1, B2, B3
  • Moniliformin
  • Ochratoxin A
  • Oosporein
  • HT-2 Toxin
  • T-2 Toxin
  • Ergots Alkaloids
    • Ergosine
    • Ergotamine
    • Ergocornin
    • Ergocryptine
    • Ergocristine

Method Performance Quality Control

Matrix-specific control materials for maize, soybean, cotton and canola are characterized and established as internal certified reference materials (CRM’S) for analytical methods used to support nutrient composition studies with transgenic crops. EPL is the only analytical contract research organization utilizing matrix specific CRM’s to support composition studies.

These performance monitoring practices serve as a day-to-day means of evaluating the validity of results for each batch of customer samples. In addition, control charts serve as a predictive tool for analyzing trends and identifying and solving problems before a method goes out of control.


Chemistry provides the backbone for understanding the structure, organization, and functions of living matter. Plants are made of nutritionally significant chemical and biological structures such as those listed below.  These chemical analytes are key to understanding modern day agriculture and nutrition.  EPL specializes in analysis of plant materials for these vital components using the best technology available.

Secondary Metabolites

Plant secondary metabolites are formed by plants for protection,coloring, scent, or attractants and in the form of plant hormones. Although secondary metabolites are not a primary contributor to human nutrition, the importance of these substances has recently been studied regarding protective functions in the human body. Plant secondary metabolites may boost the immune system, protect the body from free radicals, kill pathogens and much more.  Historically, they have been used for coloring, flavor and medicines.  Categories of interest include saponins, flavonoids (including aglycones), terpenes, and phytoestrogens. Following is a current list of some of our validated methods for secondary metabolites (Note: some secondary metabolites may be listed under anti-nutrients):

  • Furfural
  • Isoflavones
    • Daidzein
    • Daidzin
    • Genistein
    • Genistin
    • Glycitein
    • Glycitin
  • Gossypol (Total and Free)
  • Coumestrol
  • Glycoalkaloids
    • a-Solmargine
    • Solasonine
  • beta-Cryptoxanthine
  • Chlorophyll
  • Coumaric Acid
  • Ferulic Acid
  • Terpenes
    • trans-caryophyllene
    • trans-beta-farnesene
    • trans-nerolidol
    • trans-farnesol
  • Plant Hormones
    • 3-Indole acetic acid
    • Zeatin
    • Gibberellins A3, A4, A7
    • Salicylic acid


Soybean is an outstanding source of essential nutrients when used for food.  100 grams of soybeans can provide 36% of USDA Daily Value (DV) of protein, 37% DV dietary fiber, 121% DV iron, 120% DV manganese, 101% DV phosphorus and 70-94% DV of riboflavin (vitamin B2), thiamine (vitamin B1), and folate (vitamin B9). Furthermore, soy protein products can be good substitutes for animal products because, unlike some other beans, soy offers a 'complete' protein profile, according to FDA.  Therefore, soybean has not only been an ideal source of vegan diet, but also been widely used in processed foods.

However, soybean is also among the top eight food allergens, which are the “major food allergens” in the Food Allergen Labelling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) of 2004.  Scientific research has found the soybean allergenic effect is attributed to the globulin fraction of soybean proteins that comprise about 85% of total protein. Based on the scientific evidence, OECD published guidelines on a list of potential soybean allergens.   To estimate the soybean and other food allergen thresholds, the US FDA Threshold Working Group summarized the clinical data and found the lowest observed adverse effect level (LOAEL) of soy was 88-522 mg. Therefore, to successfully identify and quantify the soybean allergens, sensitive and reliable methods are in critical need.

Among the commercially available approaches, liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS) is a very promising method for allergen detection. The superior specificity and sensitivity are rooted from the combined modern development of ultra-performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry technologies. The capability of simultaneous detection of multiple or all the allergens unlocked the high throughput potential, and distinguished the method from the traditional approaches. Our new LC–MS/MS method using Dow AgroScience Plextein™ technology quantifies the following soybean allergens:

Protein Nomenclature IgE-binding protein Liquid Chromatography with
Gly m 1 Hydrophobic Proteins Tandem Mass Spectrometry
Gly m 3 Profilin
Gly m 4 SAM22
Gly m 5 β-conglycinin
Gly m 6 Glycinin (G1 subunit)
Glycinin (G2 subunit)
Glycinin (G3 subunit)
Glycinin (G4 subunit)
Glycinin (Glycinin precursor subunit)
N/A Kunitz trypsin inhibitor 1
N/A Kunitz trypsin inhibitor 3
N/A Gly m Bd 28 K
N/A Gly m Bd 30 K
Gly m 8 2S albumin
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