2. A chemistry-based reverse engineering process used to determine the components of a commercial preparation of a formulation
Deformulating a product or formulation requires breaking it down into the basic components. The end goal being able to accurately identify and quantify all of the ingredients within the formulation so that it can be studied or reproduced with all of the product’s physical properties associated with it remaining the same. Since some formulations contain a large number of ingredients, some of which that are in small quantities and tend to resist separation from the matrix, this can be a tricky task to preform. The use of multiple analytical instruments and separation techniques is needed in order to properly quantify all of the minor ingredients and additives.
Scientists use analytical techniques such as solvent extractions, chromatography, and electrophoresis to separate a formulation down to its raw components. Next, organic and inorganic chemical testing methods such as FT-IR, NMR, GC/MS, LC/MS, SEM/EDXA, and ICP are used to identify the chemical class of major and minor components. Testing instruments, such as those used at Avomeen, are often equipped with spectral libraries and matching software, allowing for a definitive determination of chemical composition.
A deformulation analysis can be performed on a wide range of products, including food, beverages, perfumes, cosmetics, cleaners, plastics, polymers, rubber, metals, and medicines.
Common Reasons to Perform a Deformulation Analysis:
Problem: Supplier moving to China
Solution: A manufacturer that develops specialty pens found out that the last US distributor of their two inks were moving their ink production to China. The manufacturer wanted to begin producing the ink in-house to avoid any safety or quality issues from overseas production. With the use of Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy, Gas Chromatography, Liquid Chromatography/Mass Spectroscopy, and extractions, Avomeen was able to provide the customer with a detailed deformulationlab report, including all of the ingredients and the quantities of each component.