New Hampshire Patent of the Month – February 2023

Terpenes are essential oils found in plants, which are commonly used in food flavorings, perfumes, and other scented products. They are also major constituents of hop oil, which can significantly affect beer flavor and quality. In addition, Cannabis sativa contains a wide variety of terpenes, and their profile can affect medical outcomes.

While liquid chromatography is the preferred analytical method for terpenes, it is highly dependent on the preparation of the sample. Many times, the liquid-extraction protocol required to prepare the sample does not provide adequate sensitivity for the liquid chromatography process. Orange Photonics, Inc., analytical instrumentation specialists have developed a novel extraction method that removes this limitation, achieving the required sensitivity in less time.

Their method removes much of the complexity of sample preparation while still achieving efficient and repeatable collection of terpenes for sample analysis. The extraction process takes less time, uses less equipment and allows the terpenes to be directly injected into a liquid chromatography instrument, reducing the chance of contamination.

The method involves combining the sample with a medium which preferentially binds terpenes. The vial is then heated, forcing the extraction solvent through the collection filter so that terpenes collect on the filter. The collected terpenes are then eluted into a vial for direct injection into the liquid chromatography instrument.

Orange Photonics’ method provides sensitivity and separation of non-volatile chemicals from the terpenes to be measured. This can be particularly useful for analyzing terpenes in beer, cannabis, and other plant-based products.

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