What is Deformulation


De*for*mu*la*tion (n)
1. The separation, identification, and quantitation of ingredients in a sample

2. A chemistry-based reverse engineering process used to determine the components of a commercial preparation of a formulation

The Deformulation Lab Process

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 perform.  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-IRNMRGC/MSLC/MSSEM/EDXA, and ICP are used to identify the chemical class of major and minor components. Deformulation LabTesting instruments, such as those used at Avomeen, are often equipped with spectral libraries and matching software, allowing for a definitive determination of chemical composition.

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:

  • A product formulation has been lost due to an unexpected occurrence such as a fire, the formulator passing away, or poor documentation.
  • A former employee is now working for your competition who’s product is now very similar to yours.
  • You believe that a competitor is infringing upon your products patents.
  • You have a product or formulation that you really like and want to produce, but do not know the ingredients or instructions on how to formulate it.
  • To perform an in-depth competitor product analysis at a chemical level.
  • A belief that there is a contamination within your product or raw material.  You have a product failure issue that you would like to have identified and solved.
  • A competitor is making unusual marketing claims and you want to know if their product formulation confirms these claims.
  • Your competition suddenly reduced their product’s pricing and you would like to know if they are doing so but cutting the quality of their product.
  • You would like to know what is giving a similar product to yours an extra performance boost or unique odor/appearance.
Case Study – Deformulation Services

Industry: Manufacturing
Problem: Supplier moving to China
Solution: A manufacturer that develops specialty pens found out that the last US distributor of their two inks was 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 SpectroscopyGas ChromatographyLiquid Chromatography/Mass Spectroscopy, and extractions, Avomeen was able to provide the customer with a detailed deformulation lab report, including all of the ingredients and the quantities of each component.

For More Information, Please Request a Deformulation Quote, or Call (844) 334-3217 Today.


reverse engineering services


Avomeen Analytical Services specializes in reverse engineering services for a variety of industries.  Avomeen’s chemists use separation techniques to identify the chemical breakdown of complex mixtures. Product reverse engineering analysis also allows for scientists to quantify the various components inside of a sample. Avomeen’s reverse engineering services will allow your business to gain the insights necessary to improve or develop your product.

Product reverse engineering produces results that allow our customers to:

  • Research and compare competitive products at a chemical level
  • Identify batch vs. batch inconsistencies in their products preventing or solving quality control issues
  • Receive in-depth testing reports for trade secret investigations or patent infringement cases
  • Allows a product to be reformulated into a better performing or all-natural version
  • Gain recipe instructions and raw materials needed allowing them to switch manufacturers

Chemists in our product reverse engineering lab can produce the product breakdown and manufacturing recipes for a variety of products, including pharmaceuticalscosmeticsmedical devicesplasticscleaning products, and a range of consumer and industrial products.

Analytical services techniques utilized in our reverse engineering analyses include:

With the latest technology available, Avomeen has many different methods to reverse engineer your samples. Whether you need chemical or product reverse engineering, we have the expertise and capabilities you need:


What does a typical deformulation & reformulation project result in?

  • Deformulate a product identifying:
    • Major and minor ingredients down to ppm or ppb level
    • Active and inactive ingredients
    • Organic and inorganic materials
    • Identify hazards or safety concerns within the product
  • Competitor products can be analyzed to:
    • Verify that your patent is not being broken
    • Disprove their marketing claims
    • Identify key differences at a chemical level showing strengths and weaknesses of each product giving your marketing team invaluable information.
    • Understand how a product is produced and identify what causes specific performance or stability benefits in their product.
  • Research & Reformulation:
    • Identify the ingredients in a product and produce the recipe on how to make the product.
    • At this stage, companies that want to be more environmentally friendly or seek to reach a new niche market can request that the product be reformulated using an eco-friendly reformulation with all natural ingredients.
    • Research new developments in the field, identifying performance and new product features that are available.
    • Identify patents on other products in the industry.
    • During reformulation, Avomeen’s scientists can modify the formula towards the client’s request in order to produce results like:
      • Longer shelf life
      • Resistance to corrosion
      • Faster dry time
      • Reduced odor
      • Change in color or appearance
      • Etc.
    • Trial batches are then created in order for the client to test and determine which variation they like the best.
    • Final ingredients list and the recipe for the newly reformulated product are given to the client who owns all of the research data, the detailed report given, and the rights to the product.
    • We have our own NDA or are happy to sign one of yours.

Companies often use our reverse chemical engineering services:

  • When switching raw material suppliers to verify the quality of the ingredients.
  • To have a better understanding of a competitor’s product.
  • When they have a sample of a product that they would like to modify and produce for themselves.
  • When the company manufacturing their product on their behalf is hiding the recipe of how the product is produced and is raising their production costs due to their assumption that the company will be unable to switch manufacturers.
  • To perform occasional batch-to-batch testing to verify products consistency and quality over time.
  • To perform purity, properties, impurities, characterization, and more.

Avomeen Analytical Services specialty is material testing and material identification. Specifically that of chemical reverse engineering or deformulation.

We have a variety of experience in chemical reverse engineering services including:

  • Medical Devices
  • Cosmetics
  • Pharmaceuticals, Supplements
  • Ink, Paints, Coatings
  • Packaging and Industrial Goods
  • Cleaning Products
  • Consumer Products
  • Household Goods
  • Items comprised of a Polymer, Plastic, or Rubber

Avomeen is an independent contract testing laboratory.  Our clients own all data and reports produced and all rights to produce the product.  While Avomeen is not a manufacturer, we can produce sample batches for you to try identifying the best variation of the reformulated product.

Ready to Partner? So are We.

Request a quote or ask an experienced scientist today.