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How pure is your folic acid? BIPM qNMR facility supports organic reference material key comparisons

Folic acid, a B-group vitamin which plays a key role in pre- and post-natal development, is the measurand for an organic purity comparison currently being coordinated by the BIPM. Twenty-two NMIs and expert laboratories are taking part and for the first time the BIPM quantitative nuclear magnetic resonance (qNMR) facility was used in the development and characterization of the comparison material.

The facility also allowed for a direct assay of the folic acid content of the material and provided a critical confirmation of a value assignment also undertaken at the BIPM using a traditional "mass balance" approach.

Two-thirds of the participants in the comparison made use of qNMR in their value assignment studies, evidence of its rapidly expanding role in the provision of measurement services for organic analysis at the highest metrological level.

The BIPM qNMR facility is the result of a collaborative agreement for studies in the area between the BIPM and NMIJ (Japan), and the donation of the instrument by JEOL France. Technical assistance and training provided by Dr Takeshi Saito, Dr Taichi Yamazaki and Dr Naoki Saito from NMIJ, and secondments to date at the BIPM by Dr Ting Huang and Dr Wei Zhang from NIM (China) and Dr Ilker Un from TUBITAK (Turkey), have played a major role in the establishment, implementation and continuing operation of the BIPM qNMR work programme.

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