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Laboratory for formulation chemistry

The BVL maintains at its location in Braunschweig a well-equipped laboratory for formulation chemistry, where plant protection products can be analysed regarding their composition and their physical, chemical and technical properties. Since 2013, the laboratory for formulation chemistry has been accredited in accordance with the DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025 standard by the German Accreditation Body (DAkkS), whereby the accreditation applies only to the scope of accreditation specified in the annex to the certificate (registration number D-PL-17682-01-00).

The laboratory works in different areas:

  • Analysis of plant protection product samples taken by the Plant Protection Service of the Federal Länder in the context of market inspections: Here it will be determined whether the products sold on the market are marketable, in other words, whether they comply with the requirements set out in the authorisation procedure or the approval procedure for parallel traded plant protection products. The procedure for the assessment of the identity of plant protection products from market controls is published in the Journal für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit (“Assessment of examinations of plant protection products from the market monitoring sector”, see in the right-hand column).
  • In the context of the authorisation procedure, the BVL requests samples from the applicant to verify compliance with the defined specifications.
  • In the context of an approval procedure for parallel trade it is verified whether the parallel traded plant protection product complies with the reference product which is authorised in Germany.
  • Providing opinions for courts on the composition, identity and on the marketability of plant protection products.
  • The laboratory participates in international programmes for the new and further development of analysis and testing methods.

Due to its accreditation and its lawful tasks, the BVL’s laboratory for formulation chemistry is obliged to be neutral and therefore cannot accept requests for examination from the private sector.

There are numerous test methods published by CIPAC (Collaborative International Pesticides Analytical Council) which the laboratory uses to examine the physical, chemical and technical properties of plant protection products. Furthermore, methods of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) are applied.

Based on the five analytical measurement principles (GC/FID, HPLC/UV, GC/MS, Headspace/GCMS, LC/MS), the laboratory has developed basic methods which have been supplemented and validated by analyte-specific Annexes. Thus, the laboratory has analytical methods for determining the content of more than 120 active substances, co-formulants, impurities and foreign substances.

A screening-analytical method using GC/MS which has been developed in the laboratory makes it possible to examine and identify unknown substances in plant protection products.

The existing analytical methods and examination procedures are continuously developed further and supplemented by new procedures. One way that happens is through national and international ring trials in which the laboratory also participates. These ring trials are mainly carried out through the work of the DAPA (German Speaking Working Group for PPP Analysis), the DAPF (German Speaking Working Group for PPP Formulations) and of the CIPAC (Collaborative International Pesticides Analytical Council).

The results of the examinations are summarised and published in annual reports (see column on the right).

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© 2018 Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety