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Food Detectives - Some curious cases with a chemical twist

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact John O'Toole.

Reading Scientific Services Limited has run an emergency, expert, analytical service for the food (and several other) industry sectors for many years. Over this time they have investigated the weird, the wonderful and the disturbing. Dr Ellen Norman will review some of these cases and describe the techniques and approaches used in solving the product mysteries – from good old fashioned wet chemistry, through to state of the art mass spectrometry, with a nod to modern immunoaffinity techniques. All these analytical tools have their role to play in helping to identify the causative problem rapidly – because time is money for the RSSL customers struggling to resolve their manufacturing problem. Some cases show that initial appearances can be deceptive, while others demonstrate that people are sometimes more sensitive than analytical instruments.

Dr Ellen Norman is Projects Manager of Investigative Analysis at RSSL . She completed an industrially sponsored PhD with Alcoa (Australia) covering industrial, analytical and soil chemistry, at Birmingham University. She then spent 10 years at Brewing Research International (now part of Campden BRI ), starting as an chemical analyst, and finishing as the Manager of Research Projects, responsible for running training courses, client projects and Government grant projects. She joined RSSL in 2007 as the Technical Manager in Analytical Chemistry and Metals. She is an active member of the RSC , Chairing the Thames Valley Local Section, sitting on the Membership and Qualifications board and also acting as a company representative.

Free admission. Open to the public. Suitable for GCSE students. No tickets, so arrive early to get a good seat. Contact: John O’Toole for further information:

Organised by SCI Cambridge & Great Eastern Region, RSC Mid-Anglia Section & CU ChemSoc.

This talk is part of the SCI Cambridge Science Talks series.

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