Trace Analysis - phytrace®

PhytoLab specializes in testing for residues and contaminants in complex matrices of botanicals, preparations, and finished products. We offer our customers more than mere measurement of analytical values: confirmatory analyses in case of positive results, experienced evaluation of findings, and expert support in root cause analysis will provide you with a reliable basis for decision-making.


Every year, PhytoLab tests more than 25,000 samples of dried herbal raw materials, preparations and finished products for pesticide residues. In addition to screening based on a multimethod approach (e.g. DFG S19 methods and LC-MS/MS methods), we also test for certain substances using specific methods developed in-house. Our testing and methods also meet the requirements for particularly sensitive product groups, such as organic foods and baby food. The variety and complexity of dried botanical matrices require a particular level of expertise, diligence, and experience. As a member of the nature network®, we provide you with expert support in the evaluation of findings. Our experience is your guarantee!

Heavy metals

Every year, PhytoLab analyzes more than 7,000 plant-based samples for lead, cadmium, mercury, and other metals. We measure for over 40 different elements and conduct heavy metal analyses with limits of detection in the ppm or ppb range using classical atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS). Where necessary, we use ICP-MS technology (inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry) that allows for even lower limits of detection and quantitation and enables the simultaneous determination of multiple elements.


The number of mycotoxins subject to regulatory limit values continues to rise in both food, animal nutrition and phytopharmaceuticals: within the EU, limits have been set for 15 mycotoxins EFSA scientific opinions for further mycotoxins may have to be considered on case-by-case basis. . We conduct mycotoxin analyses following purification using immunoaffinity columns by means of HPLC fluorescence detection and confirm positive results using HPLC-MS/MS. Our experienced team reliably and expertly analyzes and evaluates our customers’ products.

Other contaminants

The intensive work of EFSA and ECHA on the toxicological evaluation of potential contaminants has recently brought numerous other substances into focus, requiring that they be considered in contaminant monitoring or even routine testing. These include, for example, plasticizers, chlorate/perchlorate, pyrrolizidine and tropane alkaloids or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Our highly efficient Development Team uses cutting-edge technical equipment to continually and proactively develop our services in this segment.