The speed and transportability of HPIMS make it a great option for on-site inspection of food and drugs, but it is equally useful as a screening tool in the laboratory. Batches must be regularly tested to make sure that they are not contaminated or counterfeit, and this can involve a very high volume of samples. By setting up an HPIMS system with an autosampler, a high volume of samples can be run over a short time period.
Excellims’ VisIon software package allows the user to create a library that will alarm upon the detection of certain compounds. If a specific sample component (or its absence) indicates a counterfeit, for instance, this can be a very useful tool. In addition, common contaminants such as plasticizers or illegal dyes can be entered into a library and automatically detected in a series of samples.
VisIon Analysis’s quantification feature allows the user to determine whether unsafe levels of specific compounds are present in a sample. A quantification curve is built from a series of standards and associated with a compound in the library, and a safe threshold is set at which a sample passes inspection. When an unknown sample is run, the software searches the spectrum for a peak that has a drift time matching one in the library, and determines its concentration based on the associated curve. In this way, food and drug samples can be quickly screened for safety.