Dear NMR users,
after the successful edition of the first Italian NMR Inter-Laboratory Comparison organized on behalf of SAMER (laboratory of the Chamber of Commerce of Bari) and RETELAB (Network of the laboratories of the Italian Chambers of Commerce), Innovative Solutions organizes the first of a series of International NMR Inter-Laboratory Comparisons.
As you well know, since its first application as quantitative technique,[J. L. Jungnickel, J. W. Forbes, Anal. Chem. 35 (1963) 938-942] NMR spectroscopy has been successfully used for many applications involving several kind of matrixes (small molecules, pharmaceuticals and natural products in both simple and complex mixtures). One of the major advantages of quantitative NMR (qNMR) is its primary analytical characteristic. It can be applied in the quantitative estimation of purity of compounds without using any specific reference standard. Moreover, the recent progress in the development of high sensitive instruments allowed for reduction of the detection limits, thus making the technique appealing for analysis of molecules in very low concentrations. A comprehensive recent review aiming at extending awareness of experimental protocols for accurate NMR quantification of analytes is available in “Trends in Analytical Chemistry” [S. K. Bharti, R. Roy, Trends in Analytical Chemistry, 35 (2012) 5-26].
Despite the advantages deriving from the use of qNMR and despite the plethora of well documented validation processes (e.g., precision, accuracy, linearity, reproducibility, robustness, selectivity, and specificity), very few official NMR based quantification methods are known.
With the aim to encourage the use of qNMR in official methods, Innovative Solutions embarked in the organization of NMR inter-laboratory comparisons (NMR-ILCs) according to ISO/IEC 17043:2010 and reference normative therein. NMR-ILCs provide objective standards for individual laboratories, allow them to compare analytical results from different laboratories and represent a way to check the quality and the accuracy of the analytical job.
Two main reasons should be taken into account to highlight the importance of NMR-ILCs.
The first one resides in the current difficulty, by a research or industrial laboratory, to exploit internal NMR methods for official/institutional/legal purposes because NMR methods are not yet recognized as reliable analytical tools by many institutions. Thus, participation to NMR-ILCs allows laboratories to strengthen validation process of their own methods passing from intra-laboratory validation (questioned in some occasions) to inter-laboratory validation (indisputable in most cases).
The second reason is related to official recognition of fingerprinting methods. If procedures for validation of quantitative methods are well defined by international normative, official criteria to validate fingerprinting methods have not yet been defined by institutions. Thus, publication of the results obtained in NMR-ILCs represents the starting point for official recognition of NMR analytical methods including fingerprinting.
Of course, many more reasons could be listed in this letter but, currently, these two are considered of priority to trigger the use of NMR spectroscopy in many fields.
Therefore, I warmly invite you to participate to this first International NMR Inter-Laboratory Comparison organized by Innovative Solutions.
The aims of this NMR-ILC are:
- validation of a fingerprinting NMR method for classification of wheat and flours;
- selection of laboratories to build up an international network promoting NMR spectroscopy by 1D 1H-NOESY validated experiments;
- selection of laboratories to build up an international network for analysis of wheat and flours by the validated NMR method.