Bruker and Purity-IQ have joined forces to create a powerful new testing system for medical cannabis in Canada. The Purity-IQ Cannabis Fingerprint combines Bruker’s expertise in nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) based screening technology with Purity-IQ’s genomics capabilities to offer traceability and identity testing throughout the cannabis supply chain.
There are currently no standardized regulations between states or countries for quality control in cannabis, making it difficult for consumers to make informed decisions about the product they are purchasing. Bringing two powerful technologies together gives the supply chain the opportunity to move the cannabis industry to a consistent and compliant platform.
Cannabis producers and manufacturers need to ensure product quality and consistency of strain and dosage, especially as regulatory standards continue to shift, and retailers such as pharmacies and dispensaries must protect their brand and provide consumers with a product they can trust.
Identifying the genomic profile and chemical compounds in a cannabis cultivar is the key to providing consistent quality and dosing assurance. The Purity-IQ Global Cannabis Registry is the only database derived from the genomic and metabolomic identification of cannabis and hemp products, and will serve to satisfy the industry need for tracking and tracing within the supply chain. Genomics is used to determine cannabis identity and heredity and NMR determines the purity and consistency of the product at a molecular level, providing traceability, authenticity and identity throughout the supply chain from plant to finished product. This is achieved through creating a unique chemical “fingerprint,” using the Purity-IQ Cannabis Fingerprint to create new Cannabis Authenticity and Purity Standard (CAPS).
Dr. Henry Stronks, President of Bruker Canada, comments: “A genetic fingerprint alone is not enough to produce a full picture. To generate a complete fingerprint, cannabis strains must also be profiled using NMR technology. Pattern recognition allows us to identify peaks that correspond to the pharmacological properties of the cannabis, its geographical location, strain, hybrid and quality. We believe this is the first step for the cannabis industry in providing safe, uniform and effective products founded in combined genomics and metabolomics testing.”
NMR offers many advantages compared to other technologies available on the market. As an untargeted analysis method, it gives a comprehensive view on the metabolome. NMR is inherently quantitative making it easy to determine the relative concentrations of substances in a mixture accurately and rapidly.
Terry Dennis, Chief Marketing Officer at Purity-IQ comments on the benefits of the collaboration with Bruker: “CAPS recognition will identify and differentiate products, build intellectual property, ensure authenticity, drive confidence in product quality claims, allow access to new markets, and protect brand reputation. There is a whole host of other sectors that would benefit from the combination of genetic and metabolomic fingerprinting, particularly in the food and beverage industry in the fight against food fraud. This will support the whole value chain and, one day, consumers will have full transparency, trust and confidence in all products they buy.”
Bruker’s unique NMR based screening technology is well established and tailored specifically for the analysis of food. The FoodScreener™ provides the NMR fingerprint specific to an individual sample. The profile can then be compared with a large database of spectra for known authentic samples. This innovative instrument provides a valuable tool for quality control monitoring and testing for purity and authenticity issues.
The key element of the newly formed partnership of Purity-IQ and Bruker is to apply this technology to the cannabis industry.
Bruker’s 400 MHz NMR spectrometer and its Fourier 80 benchtop NMR system are installed at the University of Guelph, Canada, where Bruker’s and Purity-IQ’s scientists collaborate in research and development with the Natural Health Products (NHP) Research Alliance, a collaborative body based at the University of Guelph, creating novel DNA-based ingredient identity tools founded on a global standard biological reference materials DNA library for natural health products.