LII:The Laboratories of Our Lives: Labs, Labs Everywhere!/Labs by industry: Part 2

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4. Labs by industry: Part 2

We continue to look at 20 broad industry categories and the laboratories associated with them. For each you'll find a brief description with common services and how the lab type affects the average person. As discussed previously, using our client type + function model we dig into examples found in the private, government, and academic sectors and then outline function through activities, sciences, test types, equipment, and unique attributes. Finally, we discuss the role of informatics in each industry lab type.

4.1 Clinical and academic research

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Clinical research laboratories provide a regulated environment for the testing of the safety and efficacy of a variety of medical treatments and diagnostic devices, including medications, implants, and physician test kits. These facilities form the backbone of today's effective medical treatments, from cholesterol-lowering medications to pacemakers for the heart. In the U.S., these types of labs are overseen by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), unlike the previously mentioned clinical and public health laboratories. Clinical research labs are found in the private, government, and academic sectors and provide many different services, including (but not limited to)[1][2]:

  • clinical studies
  • bioequivalence studies
  • study design and management
  • high-volume specimen testing
  • custom assay development
  • test kit development and supply

Clinical studies and trials aside, other types of research may require laboratory services as well. (For the purposes of this guide, we refer to it as "academic research," a broad catch-all category for other research involving laboratories that doesn't readily fit into other industry categories.) Take for example the archeology laboratory, which is responsible for cleaning, analyzing, and identifying artifacts and remains from various sites either as part of a greater research effort or as a contract laboratory service.[3][4] Research in information and communications technology (ICT) also occurs in dry laboratories; examples include the privately owned Nokia Bell Labs[5] and the university-affiliated University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory.[6]

But how do clinical and academic research laboratories intersect the average person's life on a daily basis?

If you've had a medical device implanted, taken a prescription medication, visited an archeological exhibit in a museum, or experienced improvements in how you use technology to communicate with others, then you've been touched by a clinical or academic research laboratory. Without these facilities we'd have fewer medications and assistive devices, and by extension shorter life spans. We'd know less about humanity's past growth and development, and we'd lack the technology to rapidly disseminate those findings around the globe.

4.1.1 Client types

Private - Private clinical research labs are most often "central laboratories" (see the end of this section for more on this term) that are contracted by pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers.

Examples include:

Government - These labs are typically set up by a government agency to perform specific research into medical conditions such as cancer, depression, or HIV infection.

Examples include:

Academic - Many academic institutions set up their own clinical research activities, often within an affiliated medical center. These research efforts often serve as training grounds for students to learn more about clinical research and its administration.

Examples include:

4.1.2 Functions

What are the most common functions? analytical, QA/QC, research/design, and teaching

What materials, technologies, and/or aspects are being analyzed and researched? artifacts, biological specimens, chemicals, communication networks, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, etc. (depending on academic discipline practiced in the lab and type of research)

What sciences are being applied in these labs? archeology, clinical chemistry, clinical microbiology, clinical research, immunology, information theory, molecular biology, pharmacology, etc. (depending on academic discipline practiced in the lab and type of research)

What are some examples of test types and equipment?

Common test types include:

Absorption, Acoustic startle, Acute contact, Acute oral, Acute toxicity, Adhesion, Age determination, Amino acid analysis, Angle of repose, Antimicrobial, Antigen, Behavioral, Blood culture, Blood gases, Bioavailability, Bioburden, Biocompatibility, Bioequivalence, Biomechanical, Biomolecular, Biosafety, Calorimetry, Carcinogenicity, Clinical diagnostic, Colorimetric, Compaction, Compendial, Complete blood count, Cytology, Cytopathology, Cytotoxicity, Detection, Developmental and reproductive toxicology, Dietary exposure, Ecotoxicology, Efficacy, Electrolyte and mineral panel, Electromagnetic compatibility, Electromagnetic interference, Electrophoresis, Endocrine disruptor screening program, Endotoxin, Environmental fate, Environmental metabolism, Extractables and leachables, Feasibility, Fluid dynamics, Functional observational battery, Genetic, Genotoxicity, Hematocrit, Hemoglobin, Hematotoxicity, Human factors, Immunohistochemistry, Impact, Impurity, Inhalation, Irritation, Kidney function, Learning and memory, Lipid profile, Liver function, Locomotor activity, Metabolic, Microfluidics, Minimum bactericidal concentration, Minimum inhibitory concentration, Nanoparticulate, Neurotoxicity, Nutritional, Osmolality, Osmolarity, Oxidation reduction potential, Oxidation stability, Parasitic, Pathogen, Pathogenicity, pH, Pharmacokinetic, Phototoxicity, Protein analysis, Protein characterization, Red blood cell count, Refractive index, Sensitization, Solubility, Specific gravity, Thyroid function, Toxicokinetic, Urine culture, Validation, Verification, Virucidal efficacy, Wildlife toxicology

Industry-related lab equipment may include:

autoclave, balance, biohazard container, biosafety cabinet, centrifuge, chromatographic, clinical chemistry analyzer, colorimeter, desiccator, dissolved oxygen meter, dry bath, electrophoresis system, ELISA plate reader, fluorometer, freezers, fume hood, genetic analyzer and sequencer, homogenizer, hotplate, incubator, magnetic stirrer, mass spectrometry equipment, microcentrifuge tube, microplate reader, microscope, multi-well plate, orbital shaker, PCR machine, personal protective equipment, pH meter, Petri dish, pipettor, powered air purifying respirators, refractometer, spectrophotometer, syringes, test tube and rack, thermal cycler, thermometer, urinalysis device, water bath

What else, if anything, is unique about the labs in the clinical and academic research fields?

It's important to note that some clinical research laboratories may be referred to as "central laboratories." Though mentioned occasionally in its regulation and guidance, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn't seem to provide a definition of the term. However, it seems to be used by some in the context of an analytical laboratory that provides analyses of biological specimens associated with clinical and bioequivalence studies (including multi-site studies, prompting the idea of a "central" lab handling sample analysis) performed at medical institutions.[1][7]

4.1.3 Informatics in the clinical and academic research industry

On the clinical research side, informatics is being used in a variety of ways. Clinical research informatics—described by the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) as "the use of informatics in the discovery and management of new knowledge relating to health and disease"[8]—is allowing researchers to better use data from clinical trials, improve biomedical research techniques, and analyze and visualize the massive amount of data that comes from said techniques.[9] Efforts to create research data management applications occur not only within businesses but also academic sectors, including Duke University's Office of Academic Solutions and Information Systems (formerly the Office of Research Informatics)[10] and University of Chicago's Center for Research Informatics[11]

Informatics appear in other types of non-clinical, academic research. Take for instance the field of computational archaeology (also known as archaeological informatics), allowing archaeologists "to present dynamic phenomena, to show processes in action rather than static descriptions of them, and to vary the narratives to respond to the needs, experience and interests of our varied audiences without necessarily sacrificing the archaeological integrity of our arguments."[12]

4.1.4 LIMSwiki resources further reading

LIMSwiki resources

Further reading

4.2 Cosmetic

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Cosmetic labs provide research and development, as well as quality control (QC) functions, to the world of cosmetics. From makeups and moisturizers to hair dyes and lipsticks, the cosmetic laboratory is responsible for making safe and effective products of many types. Cosmetic chemists tend to mostly work in private laboratories or as part of a private-public research partnership, though some work in academic labs.[13] Cosmetic labs are found largely in the private sector, though they exist in the government and academic sectors and provide many different services, including (but not limited to):

  • formulation and development of products[13]
  • safety testing of products[13]
  • process engineering improvement[13]
  • chemical and material research[13]
  • substantiation of compatibility and efficacy claims[14]
  • allergy testing
  • contaminate testing

But how do cosmetic laboratories intersect the average person's life on a daily basis?

In private industry, cosmetic scientists are tasked with creating a safe product that is free from contaminates and allergens that may negatively affect a user. At the higher government level, some labs are responsible for substantiating manufacturer claims, testing cosmetics, and even manufacturing cosmetic components[14]; the FDA, for example, certifies some color additives as safe for consumers in its own lab.[15] Without these labs, the soaps, shampoos, moisturizers, and makeup on the market wouldn't likely exist, or if they did, they would be of unknown quality, posing a threat to human health. When we use such a product, we are reminded that a laboratory was at some point involved in its creation.

4.2.1 Client types

Private - Private cosmetic labs are either found as part of a major company initiative (think L’Oréal Group and its laboratories[16]) or as a third-party contract lab that provides development, manufacturing, and consulting services to clients.

Examples include:

Government - Governments around the world differ in how they regulate and test cosmetics. Though not common, some governments will dedicate space for laboratory testing, certification of constituents, and testing of efficacy and compatibility claims.[14][15]

Examples include:

Academic - Academic programs in cosmetic science aren't abundant, but they can be found. (The Society of Cosmetic Chemists lists a few U.S.-based programs here].) The laboratories associated with this course of study are presumably similar in design to a chemistry teaching laboratory in a typical university, with a few additions, including research facilities.

Examples include:

4.2.2 Functions

What are the most common functions? analytical, QA/QC, research/design, and teaching

What materials, technologies, and/or aspects are being calibrated, researched, and quality controlled? colorants, dyes, emulsions, fragrances, lacquers, polymers, preservatives, silicones, surfactants, thickeners

What sciences are being applied in these labs? biochemistry, biology, chemical engineering, chemistry, cosmetic science, macromolecular science, pharmaceutical science, process engineering

What are some examples of test types and equipment?

Common test types include:

Absorption, Allergy, Antimicrobial, Bioburden, Biocompatibility, Comparison, Compliance/Conformance, Composition, Contamination, Detection, Efficacy, Expiration dating, Flammability, Fluorescence, Formulation, Fragrance, Impurity, Ingredient, Irritation, Labeling, Oxidation reduction potential, Oxidation stability, Pathogen, Performance, pH, Photostability, Preservative challenge, Proficiency, Purity, Pyrogenicity, Quality control, Safety, Sensitization, Stability, Water activity

Industry-related lab equipment may include:

autoclave, balance, chromatographic, digital imaging devices, ESR spectroscopy equipment, fluorescent laser scan microscope, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy equipment, microscope, multiphotone tomography equipment, pH meter, Raman spectroscopy equipment, test tube and rack, thermometer, transepidermal water loss (TEWL) instrumentation

What else, if anything, is unique about the labs in the cosmetic industry?

In the U.S., whereas the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regulates clinical laboratory testing[17], the FDA regulates cosmetic laboratories.[18] Regulation of cosmetic laboratories in other countries varies; in Singapore, for example, the Health Sciences Authority helps enforce cosmetic testing per its Health Products Act.[19]

4.2.3 Informatics in the cosmetics industry

The most obvious place where informatics is being used in the cosmetics industry is in their various labs, where research and development (R&D) and QC testing take place. Laboratory information management systems (LIMS) help collect, analyze, visualize, and disseminate test results; manage formulations; and track workflows. However, other operations within the cosmetic industry are busy collecting data as well, and with the growing focus on big data and what it entails, industry members are looking at other ways they can beneficially integrate and harness that data. Some companies have developed specific algorithms to mine consumer testing results and further scrutinize existing formulations to maximize desired sensory results and produce more effective and cost-efficient cosmetics.[20] Outside the lab, some cosmetic companies are using informatics in other ways, including using e-commerce data to identify growth opportunities[21] and integrating manufacturing data streams to enable improved efficiency and productivity.[22]

4.2.4 LIMSwiki resources and further reading

LIMSwiki resources

Further reading

4.3 Energy

Pomiary rezystancji uzwojenia transformatora z rdzeniem amorficznym miernikiem Sonel MMR-6000.jpg

The energy laboratory is largely a place for the research and development of energy sources and devices, though it also is a place for researchers to focus on improving energy efficiency in current fuels, systems, and structures. These labs are found in the government and academic sectors, and occasionally in the private sector, providing many different services, including (but not limited to)[23]:

  • chemical and biomolecular engineering
  • applied research and development
  • analysis and improvement of energy efficiency
  • analysis and improvement of transportation systems
  • development of energy systems
  • discovery and development of materials
  • integration of energy systems

But how do energy laboratories intersect the average person's life on a daily basis?

"I want my phone's battery to last longer!" you shout, as you put it on the charger for the second time in a day. The truth is your device probably has a better battery life than the generation before it, and the generation before it, etc., but you're at the same time making it do more demanding tasks than it used to at the same time. Yet advances continue to be made in energy storage.[24] You can thank an energy laboratory and its scientists for that and similar advances that affect you on a daily basis.

4.3.1 Client types

Private - Private laboratories tend to focus on a company's R&D or provide third-party analysis of materials used as fuel sources.

Examples include:

Government - Along with academic labs, government labs (public and public-private) make up the majority of energy laboratories and typically provide much of the funding for energy research, at least in the United States.[25]

Examples include:

Academic - Higher education continues to be a major source for the study, research, and application of energy sources and equipment. From the optimization of commercial and industrial buildings to alternative fuels and clean energy systems, the academic-affiliated energy lab is pushing energy science forward at a significant pace.

Examples include:

4.3.2 Functions

What are the most common functions? analytical, QA/QC, research/design, and teaching

What materials, technologies, and/or aspects are being calibrated, researched, and quality controlled? biomass, emissions, energy efficiency, energy storage and retrieval, hydropower, nuclear energy, petrochemicals, solar energy, thermal energy, thin films, wind power

What sciences are being applied in these labs? chemical engineering, chemistry, engineering, environmental science, material science, mechanical engineering, microbiology, nuclear physics, physics, thermodynamics

What are some examples of test types and equipment?

Common test types include:

Accelerated stress testing, Aging, Calorimetry, Characterization, Climatics, Combustion, Contact mechanics, Contamination, Degredation, Design verification testing, Dielectric withstand, Durability, Efficiency, Electromagnetic compatibility, Electromagnetic interference, Electrostatic discharge, Emissions, Endurance, Flash point, Fluid dynamics, Friction, Geothermal, Hydraulic, Lightning, Mechanical, Mechanical durability, Power quality, Proficiency, Resistance - capacitance - inductance, Solar, Temperature, Thermal, Torque, Validation, Velocity and flow, Voltage

Industry-related lab equipment may include:

calorimeter, climate test chamber, gas turbine, geothermal energy absorber, hydrogen fuel cell, impulse turbine, light sensor, photovoltaic trainer/system, plasma light system, porosimeter, reaction turbine, solar thermal system, temperature sensor, viscometer, wind turbine

What else, if anything, is unique about the labs in the energy industry?

By and far, energy laboratories seem to have the most prominent footprint in the government and academic sectors. One of the largest footprints in the U.S. government sector is that of the Department of Energy (DoE) National Laboratories. The DoE's 2020 report on the state of the National Laboratories revealed a network of 17 laboratories with more than 95,000 staff and contractor employees addressing energy technologies, unique research programs, fundamental science discoveries, nuclear security, and environmental management issues.[26]

Privately run energy laboratories exist but appear to be the minority, appearing as either R&D labs inside a larger manufacturing company or as niche third-party testing facilities for biomass and/or petrochemicals. As an aside, since agriculture and forest biomass[27], as well as petrochemicals, can be used as fuel sources, the energy industry has ties to the agriculture, forestry, and petrochemical industries. Of course, the power and utility industry—which focuses on large-scale energy solutions for communities—is closely linked as well.

4.3.3 Informatics in the energy industry

When it comes to informatics in the energy industry, we have direct crossover with the power and utility industry, discussed later in this guide. On one hand, energy R&D drives the development of power sources and storage systems both big (e.g., hydroelectric) and small (e.g., iPhone battery); the power and utility companies, on the other, use a significant chunk of R&D to develop and install infrastructure for the distribution of energy. Those companies are monitoring their distribution grids with smart meters, representing millions of data points to collect and analyze from.[28] This "smart grid" analysis can than lead to developing "automated predictions, optimizing the performance of grid devices, and charting energy usage trends."[29] That grid optimization and its associated data is in return applicable to the energy industry to better improve energy efficiencies and better integrate the renewable energy sources they're developing.[30] In some cases, government-affiliated labs have direct involvement with energy informatics. The United States' Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, for example, attempts to not only solve carbon capture and storage issues for power and utility but also develops energy flow charts using data captured from various points in the energy chain.[31]

4.3.4 LIMSwiki resources and further reading

LIMSwiki resources

Further reading

4.4 Environmental


Environmental laboratories are responsible for the analysis and research of a wide variety of materials and environments, with the purpose of promoting human, animal, and ecosystem health. These labs also act as compliance enforcement entities for regulators. They provide services to a wide variety of other industries, including energy and utility companies, engineering firms, pharmaceutical companies, governments, and other industry forces. Environmental labs are found in the private, government, and academic sectors and provide many different services, including (but not limited to):

  • exposure testing[32]
  • field testing[32]
  • radiological testing[33][34]
  • heavy metals testing[32]
  • air quality monitoring[32]
  • environmental assessments[32]
  • environmental engineering[35]

But how do environmental laboratories intersect the average person's life on a daily basis?

The easiest way environmental labs tie into the average person's life is through the potable water supply. (Though the power and utility industry, discussed later, largely deals with potable and waste water quality testing internally or through a third-part environmental lab, analyzing water quality still firmly falls into the realm of the environmental industry as well.) Without these labs, more people would become ill or even die due to improperly or non-treated drinking water supplies. We need not look further than the Flint, Michigan water crisis, where improper funding and procedures for testing and treatment of contaminated water led to the heavy metal lead leaching into the drinking water.[36] It may be easy to take clean drinking water for granted, but remember that a lab is ideally and most likely in place to ensure it's safe for consumption in the first place.

4.4.1 Client types

Private - Private environmental labs cater to industry and the government, providing third-party testing services, often under contract.

Examples include:

Government - Government-affiliated labs not only provide analytical services for states and municipalities; they also may conduct academic and field research to better guide local, state, and federal environmental policy.

Examples include:

Academic - The environmental labs affiliated with higher education are usually researched-based, though they may occasionally provide third-party analyses. These labs are often directly affiliated with a local or even international watershed or ecosystem, providing valuable field training to students while monitoring changes to the location over time and issuing public reports.

Examples include:

4.4.2 Functions

What are the most common functions? analytical, QA/QC, research/design, and teaching

What materials, technologies, and/or aspects are being analyzed, researched, and quality controlled? acoustics, air quality, allergens, biological specimens, contaminates, finished products, hazardous waste, insects, pesticides, plants, radioactive substances, raw materials, sediment, soil, solid waste, water quality

What sciences are being applied in these labs? chemistry, chemical engineering, environmental engineering, environmental science, microbiology, organic and inorganic chemistry, radiation chemistry

What are some examples of test types and equipment?

Common test types include:

Absorption, Acute contact, Acute oral, Acute toxicity, Allergy, Anion, Antimicrobial, Atterberg limits, Bioaccumulation, Bioavailability, Bioburden, Biodegradation, Chemical and biochemical oxygen demand, Colorimetric, Conductivity, Consolidation, Contamination, Decomposition, Degradation, Density, Ecotoxicology, Emissions, Environmental fate, Environmental metabolism, Environmental monitoring, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Humidity, Hydraulic conductivity, Isotope analysis, Leak, Metallurgical analysis, Minimum bactericidal concentration, Minimum inhibitory concentration, Mobility, Organic carbon, Oxidation reduction potential, Permeability, pH, Photostability, Plant metabolism, Pressure, Proficiency, Radioactivity, Radiochemical, Refractive index, Seismic, Sensory, Soil microflora, Specific gravity, Temperature, Terrestrial toxicology, Turbidity, Wildlife toxicology

Industry-related lab equipment may include:

balance, Bunsen burner, burette, colorimeter, centrifuge, chromatographic, crucible, desiccator, dropper, enzyme immunoassay, Erlenmeyer flask, extractor, Florence flask, flow meter, fume hood, funnel, graduated cylinder, hot plate, moisture analyzer, mortar and pestle, multi-well plate, organic carbon analyzer, oven, particle counter, pH meter, pipestem triangle, reagent dispenser, remote sensors, ring stand, rotary evaporator, sediment analyzer, spectrometer, spectrophotometer, stirring rod, thermometer, viscometer

What else, if anything, is unique about the labs in the environmental industry?

"The environmental laboratory industry will be undergoing continuous radical change in coming years as environmental markets continue to evolve," stated Bangert and Lynch in a 1996 study for the National Research Council. "The model laboratory of the future, therefore, is likely to be far different from that of today," they added.[32] Fast forward 25 years, and we see their vision for the future of environmental testing labs came to fruition: today's environmental testing lab uses a LIMS to manage data in an automated, innovative lab that provides analytical services as well as research.[32][37] And they need to be agile as the concepts of "climate change," "biodiversity," and "sustainable ecosystems" continue to weave their way into the focus of environmental laboratories.[38][39] As such, these labs will play an ever-increasing role in helping scientists better understand how we are impacting our environment.

4.4.3 Informatics in the environmental industry

The introduction of this section mentioned how the environmental lab serves many other industries. That becomes even more evident when we look at how informatics is being applied in those labs. Environmental researchers/laboratorians are using informatics tools to:

  • improve the integration and analysis of environmental data silos (such as from emissions data from a power plant) and even make it available in a collaborative way for further regional or global analysis (as with the U.S. EPA)[40];
  • develop and optimize mathematical algorithms for environmental modeling[41];
  • gauge the influence of trace gases, aerosol, and clouds on the weather and climate[41];
  • collect and analyze remote sensing data from agricultural fields to better understand environmental impact on crops[42]; and
  • mine data from databases and other sources to predict or catch at an early stage invasive species establishment in an environment.[43]

4.4.4 LIMSwiki resources and further reading

LIMSwiki resources

Further reading

4.5 Food and beverage

Laboratório de Tecnologia de Alimentos.jpg

Food and beverage laboratories are responsible for developing, protecting, and supporting the food, beverages, and nutritional supplements humans and animals consume. From creating new flavor enhancers for food to ensuring the quality and safe consumption of a wine, these labs play a vital role in most parts of the world where processed food and agricultural products are produced. These labs are found in the private, government, and academic sectors and provide many different services, including (but not limited to)[44]:

  • reverse engineering
  • claims testing
  • contaminate testing
  • batch variation testing
  • extractable and leachable testing
  • allergen testing
  • shelf life testing
  • non-routine quality testing
  • packaging testing

But how do food and beverage laboratories intersect the average person's life on a daily basis?

Have you ever enjoyed a candy bar, soda, or snack cake? A laboratory and food scientists were behind its production. Don't care much for processed foods? A laboratory is still involved in the quality and safety testing of raw fruits and vegetables, milk, and nuts. And when food supplies become contaminated, government testing labs are often in the thick of determining the source of the contamination as quickly as possible before more people become ill. Whether it's the unique flavor profile of a potato chip you love or the fact you can reliably acquire safe foods, remember that a laboratory is often behind it.

4.5.1 Client types

Private - Whether manufacturers seek help with a formulation problem or a government subcontracting contamination analysis, private food and beverage labs are there. These labs may appear within a major food corporation or act as third-party contact labs for work as needed.

Examples include:

Government - The government-affiliated labs of the food and beverage industry typically act as protectors of the local, regional, or national food supply. Some may be responsible for developing and enforcing regulations as well.

Examples include:

Academic - Academic food and beverage labs are usually teaching labs, often associated with a university's agriculture department.

Examples include:

4.5.2 Functions

What are the most common functions? analytical, QA/QC, research/design, and teaching

What materials, technologies, and/or aspects are being analyzed, researched, and quality controlled? candy, dairy, fruits, grains, meats, nuts, oils, proteins, soft drinks, starches, sugars, vegetables, vitamins

What sciences are being applied in these labs? biochemistry, chemical engineering, chemistry, fermentation science, microbiology, molecular gastronomy, nutrition and food science

What are some examples of test types, terminology, and equipment?

Common test types include:

Absorption, Active ingredient, Alcohol level, Allergy, Altitude, Amino acid analysis, Ash, Bioavailability, Bioburden, Biodegradation, Biomolecular, Boiling - freezing - melting point, Comparison, Compliance/Conformance, Contamination, Density, Detection, Efficacy, Expiration dating, Extractables and leachables, Flavor, Fluid dynamics, Fluorescence, Fragrance, Genotoxicity, GMO detection, HACCP, Hazard analysis, Identification, Ingredient, Iodine value, Isotope analysis, Labeling, Moisture, Mold - fungal - mycotoxin, Mutagenicity, Nutritional, Oxidation reduction potential, Oxidation stability, Pathogen, PDCAAS, Permeability, Peroxide value, pH, Plant metabolism, Polarimetry, Preservative challenge, Proficiency, Purity, Quality control, Radioactivity, Radiochemical, Refractive index, Safety, Sanitation, Saponification value, Sensory, Shelf life, Smoke point, Sulfide, Thermal, Total viable count, Turbidity, Viscosity, Water activity

Industry-related lab equipment may include:

alcohol analyzer, balance, biosafety cabinet, centrifuge, chiller, chromatograph, colorimeter, ELISA equipment, evaporator, fat analyzer, freezer, fume hood, gravimetric diluter, hot/forced air oven, incubator, Kjeldahl digestion apparatus, laminar airflow workstation, media sterilizer, microscope, moisture analyzer, muffle furnace, Petri dish, photometric analyzer, protein analyzer, refractometer, spectrometer, titrator

What else, if anything, is unique about the labs in the food and beverage industry?

As previously mentioned in the agriculture section, the food and beverage industry has strong ties to the agriculture industry, though broadly speaking the food and beverage industry is typically dealing with the end products of agriculture.

While most industries see global standards coalesce around their industry, this holds especially true for food and beverage laboratories. Given the vital nature of a clean and safe food supply, regulation and global standardization remains a strong goal for the industry.[45] These regulations evolve over time as well, as can be seen with the evolution of the U.S.' Laboratory Accreditation for Analyses of Foods (LAAF) rule, which designates some food testing be specifically performed by specially accredited laboratories.[46]

4.5.3 Informatics in the food and beverage industry

When asked why a LIMS is important to the food and beverage industry in 2014, Core Informatics co-founder Anthony Uzzo noted the following[47]:

The food and beverage industry faces increasing regulatory scrutiny, pressures to control costs, and the challenge of maintaining quality throughout a global supply chain. A LIMS solution needs to be a solution to aid companies in the delivery and discovery of products, while complying with industry and government regulations. The LIMS need to identify hazards, determine and monitor critical control points, and establish corrective actions and verification procedures to ensure that standards are met and the system is functioning properly.

That statement largely sums up why the food and beverage industry is using informatics products in their workflow, even more so in 2022. From QC to regulatory compliance, informatics systems allow industry labs to handle huge amounts of data to not only meet those goals but also make new insights and optimize workflows. Some businesses are also integrating laboratory informatics applications with other software systems such as shipping systems, hazard analysis tools, and quality management systems in order to further integrate data silos and improve product quality and service.[48]

4.5.4 LIMSwiki resources and further reading

LIMSwiki resources

Further reading


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Definition of Central Laboratory". FDA Good Clinical Practice (GCP) Q&A. Model Agreements & Guidelines International. 19 April 2004. Archived from the original on 08 January 2020. Retrieved 28 June 2022. 
  2. Minor, L.K., ed. (2006). "Handbook of Assay Development in Drug Discovery". CRC Press. pp. 488. ISBN 9781420015706. 
  3. "Archeology Laboratory". Augustana University. Retrieved 28 June 2022. 
  4. "Labs". Saint Louis University. Retrieved 28 June 2022. 
  5. "History - Bell Labs". Nokia Group. Retrieved 28 June 2022. 
  6. "UNH-IOL FAQ". University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory. Retrieved 28 June 2022. 
  7. Karelin, A.; Belotserkovskiy, M.; Khokhlova, V.; Kumar, A. (6 May 2013). "Selecting a Central Laboratory". Contract Pharma. Rodman Media, Inc. Retrieved 28 June 2022. 
  8. "Informatics: Research and Practice". American Medical Informatics Association. Retrieved 28 June 2022. 
  9. Embi, P.J.; Payne, P.R. (2009). "Clinical research informatics: Challenges, opportunities and definition for an emerging domain". JAMIA 16 (3): 316–27. doi:10.1197/jamia.M3005. PMC PMC2732242. PMID 19261934. 
  10. "Office of Academic Solutions and Information Systems". Duke University. Retrieved 28 June 2022. 
  11. "Center for Research Informatics". University of Chicago. Retrieved 28 June 2022. 
  12. Huggett, J.; Ross, S. (2004). "Introduction". Internet Archaeology (15): 13. doi:10.11141/ia.15.13. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 Browne, C.. "The Job Description of a Cosmetic Chemist". Chron. Hearst Newspapers, LLC. Retrieved 28 June 2022. 
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 "CEL". North-West University. Retrieved 28 June 2022. 
  15. 15.0 15.1 "Small Businesses & Homemade Cosmetics: Fact Sheet". Food and Drug Administration. 25 February 2022. Retrieved 28 June 2022. 
  16. "L’Oréal USA Research And Innovation". L’Oréal Group. Archived from the original on 21 October 2018.'or%C3%A9al-usa/l%E2%80%99or%C3%A9al-usa-research-and-innovation. Retrieved 28 June 2022. 
  17. "Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)". Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. 16 May 2022. Retrieved 28 June 2022. 
  18. "FDA Authority Over Cosmetics: How Cosmetics Are Not FDA-Approved, but Are FDA-Regulated". Food and Drug Administration. 2 March 2022. Retrieved 28 June 2022. 
  19. "Cosmetics". Health Sciences Authority. 13 September 2019. Retrieved 28 June 2022. 
  20. Gallon, V. (8 March 2016). "The big data revolution is well underway in the cosmetics industry". Premium Beauty News. Premium Beauty Media SAS.,9420. Retrieved 28 June 2022. 
  21. Whitehouse, L. (23 May 2014). "Beauty using big data to identify new markets". Cosmetics Design - Europe. William Reed Business Media Ltd. Retrieved 28 June 2022. 
  22. "Case Study: Real-time Big Data Improves Cosmetics Manufacturing". Fraysen Systems. 30 December 2014. Retrieved 28 June 2022. 
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Citation information for this chapter

Chapter: 4. Labs by industry: Part 2

Title: The Laboratories of Our Lives: Labs, Labs Everywhere!

Edition: Second edition

Author for citation: Shawn E. Douglas

License for content: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International

Publication date: July 2022