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M.A. Silva Corks, USA Expands Their Analytical Lab to Include GC/MS Technology


Date: 05/03/11

M.A. Silva Corks, USA is now operating a Gas Chromatograph/Mass Spectrometer (GC/MS) in their Santa Rosa production facility. This instrument will further the research and quality protection methods of M.A. Silva Corks, USA.

"It’s a very powerful, versatile, and sensitive analytical instrument; there’s a lot of exciting things we can potentially do with it," says Adolfo Hernandez, Quality Control and Laboratory Services Manager of M.A. Silva Corks, USA. "We are able to share methods and techniques with our parent company in Portugal. Continuing to align our chemistry adds another layer to our vertical integration."

The GC/MS analytical instrument is a Thermo Fisher Trace ISQ , and was installed in February of 2010. Hernandez, an experienced biochemist, led the implementation of testing methods and design of the analytical laboratory. "In my opinion it’s been the biggest driver of change in cork processing in the last decade. When you can quantify or measure a compound, you are more likely to be able to understand and control it," says Hernandez.

Currently the chemists at the Santa Rosa facility are using the GC/MS technology to test cork soaks and wine for 2,4,6 trichloroanisole, commonly abbreviated as TCA. The approach uses solid phase micro extraction (SPME) to concentrate headspace volatiles (aromatic compounds which contribute to smell) for GC/MS analysis of TCA. In Portugal, M.A. Silva Corticas uses GC/MS technology for TCA testing of corkwood at inspection after harvest, on corkwood post boiling, and on corks after punching. When corks are received at the Santa Rosa production facilities, samples are sent to ETS Laboratories for third party testing. M.A. Silva Corks, USA plans to use the in house technology for additional quality assurance testing and research.

"This analytical tool is key to our goal of delivering the highest level of cork quality and assurance to our customers," says Neil Foster, President of M.A. Silva Corks, USA.
About M.A. Silva Corks, USA: Based in Sonoma County California, M.A. Silva Corks, USA is a leading manufacturer of premium natural corks and of glass containers for North American markets. Its quality-assurance program ensures unmatched visual, mechanical, and sensory characteristics of its products. M.A. Silva Corks, USA operates on 100% solar power and is committed to sustainability and eco-friendly operations. For more information about M.A. Silva Corks, USA visit www.MASilva.com or call 877-689-7676.

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