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Our analysis service

Amino acid analysis enables the accurate determination of the protein content or concentration of products and samples. With more than 40 years’ experience and UKAS accredited to ISO/IEC 17025:2017, AltaBioscience scientific analysis laboratory provides unrivalled expertise and accuracy. Our established methods are suitable for all sample types, but our technical expertise also allows us to work closely with our customers, developing methods specifically to meet a client’s specification when required.

Our service offers a fast turnaround, with an optional Express Service when results are required urgently. We offer quantification of all 20 natural amino acids as well as some non-standard amino acids and can analyse samples from GMP processes. Results are provided in a clear and easy to understand format.

Our highly skilled specialists will be able to offer you professional assistance throughout the whole project.

More details can be found on the amino acid sample information page or in our technical documentation that you can request here.

What is amino acid analysis?

It is a biochemical technique that accurately determines the amino acid content, protein content or peptide content of a sample providing quantitative analysis of each amino acid present and an overall protein total.

Analysis method

Our method of post-column detection, which measures individual amino acids, avoids the potential for overestimation of protein reported with other analysis techniques. This technique also allows us to analyse the amino acid content of products and samples containing other non protein compounds without interference from the sample matrix, unlike other methods which require very pure protein samples to determine accurate protein content.

Analysis with AltaBioscience

We offer two types of analysis here at AltaBioscience scientific analysis laboratory. These are:

Total amino acid analysis

This analysis quantifies the amino acids bound within proteins along with those present as individual unbound units. Samples are hydrolysed prior to analysis.

Using this technique we can quantify 18 of the 20 proteinogenic amino acids:

  • Aspartic acid
  • Threonine
  • Serine
  • Glutamic acid
  • Proline
  • Glycine
  • Alanine
  • Cystine
  • Valine
  • Methionine
  • Isoleucine
  • Leucine
  • Norleucine
  • Tyrosine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Lysine
  • Histidine
  • Arginine

With additional analytical techniques, we can also quantify the total quantity of hydroxyproline, cysteine and tryptophan in samples. Read more about analysis of tryptophan, cysteine and cystine.

Total amino acid analysis can be used for a wide range of applications, including analysis of:

  • Protein content of food and drinks products
  • Protein content of specialist low protein dietary and nutritional products, e.g. those for people with phenylketonuria. Read more about measuring phenylalanine content here.
  • Purified peptides or proteins, to check amino acid ratios and percentage of net peptide content

Free amino acid analysis

This type of analysis determines the amount of each amino acid not bound to a protein. Using this technique we can quantify all 20 of the amino acids listed above, and many additional non-standard amino acids, like GABA, ornithine, citrulline and sarcosine.

This information is particularly important in the analysis of:

  • Cell culture media
  • Blood serum
  • Taurine in pet foods and sports nutritional supplements
  • Ninhydrin positive substance and ammonium to European Pharmacopoeia 2.2.56 monographs

Find out more about total amino acid analysis and free amino acid analysis.

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