Skip to main content
Algal Toxins/Taste & Odor Compounds

Algal Toxins/Taste & Odor Compounds

Accurate analysis of harmful algal toxins and T&O in water supplies

Harmful algal blooms caused by algae and cyanobacteria are an environmental issue across the globe. This typically occurs in water bodies where excess nutrients or exposure to sunlight results in overgrowth of algae. These algal blooms, in turn, release potentially harmful toxins into the water and can have adverse health effects on both humans and aquatic life. Moreover, these algal blooms can also cause severe economic and aesthetic issues to the local community and water utilities. Taste and Odor (T&O) issues have been reported as the number one water quality complaint from consumers in many western countries. These T&O problems are typically due to algal and bacterial growth in water. T&O issues are primarily identified by measuring a small group of indicator compounds in the sample. 2-Methyl isoborneol (MIB) and geosmin presence are the two most common T&O compounds present in water. The human olfactory can detect the smell of these compounds at low nanogram per liter levels so extremely low detection levels in water are needed to confirm their presence.

To meeting these challenges, Agilent offers a portfolio of sample preparation products including online and automated SPE coupled to Triple quadrupole LC-MS technology for the analysis of various algal toxins including microcystins in water. Agilent provides robust solutions with the revolutionary Ultivo and 6400 series LC-MS for sensitive and reliable quantification of microcystins while the 6500 series Time of Flight LC-Q/TOF allows users to get a complete profile of microcystins with the identification of unknown algal toxins.

Agilent provides robust solid phase microextraction (SPME) kits to couple with the GC-MS for low ng/L level detection of T&O compounds like MIB and Geosmin in water. The market leading gas chromatograph’s from Agilent with the 5977B Single Quadrupole GC-MS provides environmental users with a robust, and cost effective approach to analyze T&O compounds. For ultimate sensitivity, unparalleled robustness and reliability the 7000D and 7010 triple quadrupole GC-MS system is recommended.