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Kansas City Laboratory (KCL)

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Program Capabilities

The Kansas City Laboratory (KCL) is an ISO/IEC 17025-accredited full-service chemistry lab located in Lenexa, Kansas.  KCL supports the surveillance and enforcement mission of the Food and Drug Administration by analyzing routine regulatory samples.  Six supervisory groups and an administrative branch comprise the KCL.

The analytical functions provided by KCL include:  testing for toxic elements in food, feed, and dietary supplements; arsenic speciation in foods; determination of cadmium and lead in ceramicware; testing for mycotoxins in foods and feeds; testing for pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and industrial chemicals in foods and feeds; assessing Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) in dietary supplements; method development; non-traditional testing; and matrix extension/method modification.  KCL is also active in the review of private lab reports.

Program Areas

The Pesticide & Industrial Chemicals section analyzes regulatory and surveillance food and feed samples for herbicides, fungicides, and approximately 750 pesticides and industrial chemicals using both Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry and Liquid Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry platforms.

The Elemental Analysis section routinely analyzes food, feed, dietary supplements and ceramicware samples for toxic elements including analysis of juices and rice products for inorganic arsenic.

The Mycotoxin Analysis section analyses various food and feed samples for aflatoxins, fumonisins, patulin, ochratoxin A, and vomitoxins.

The Dietary Supplement and APIs lab analyzes various categories of tainted products, including weight-loss products.  The Drug/Dietary section is an integral part of FDA’s efforts to identify adulterated products, warn consumers and healthcare providers, and take enforcement actions to remove such products from the market.

Total Diet Program

The KCL is the national servicing center for FDA’s Total Diet Study (TDS), an ongoing surveillance program that started in 1961.  The lab is ORA’s central resource responsible for planning, processing, and analyzing more than 1,100 samples representing 280 food items annually, including infant and toddler foods.  Analyses performed at KCL include detection and determination of herbicides, fungicides, 15 toxic or nutritional elements, and approximately 750 pesticides and industrial chemicals.  Most of these determinations are made at trace levels considerably lower than the regulatory levels of concern.  The resulting work exceeds 45,000 data points annually and is used in exposure studies by toxicologists and nutritionists in FDA’s CFSAN, USDA, academia, and other national and international organizations.  The KCL also provides prepared samples to Winchester Engineering and Analytical Center and Arkansas Laboratory (ARKL) for analysis of radionuclides and dioxins, respectively.

Total Diet Research Center Method Development

Researchers in KCL’s Total Diet Research Center (TDRC) routinely publish in scientific journals and books, and regularly present at regional, national, and international meetings and conferences.  Members consult with CFSAN regarding the TDS program and interpretation of the data generated.  They also collaborate with FDA centers and USDA’s Foreign Agriculture Service to address method development needs for national pesticide testing programs and work with other agencies to expand the lab capacity of international pesticides laboratories.

Specialized Capabilities

  • KCL is the only lab that performs fumonisin analysis.
  • KCL is one of the two ORA laboratories that analyze samples for arsenic speciation.
  • KCL is the national servicing lab for the Total Diet Program.


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