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Analysis for hormonally active substances

Analysis for hormonally active substances

Hormone activity

In recent years, xenohormones such as bisphenol A have increasingly become the focus of media attention. Even though scientists still disagree on how dangerous endocrine disruptors are, legislation has already responded. Bisphenol A is banned in France, and bans in other countries are being discussed. However, food packaging made of plastic, paper or coated metals could also contain a number of other possible hormone-active substances – xenohormones – that have not yet been so much in the media spotlight.

Xenohormones are suspected of influencing the hormonal system of humans by mimicking the action of natural hormones due to structural similarities and thus being able to induce hormone-dependent effects in the organism. Substances that can lead to health problems as a result are also known as “endocrine disruptors”.

We test your food packaging for a possible content of endocrine disruptors. In addition to a comprehensive characterization of the hormone activity of packaging by means of bioassays, we can provide you with the chemical identification of these substances by chromatographic determination. Targeted measures can thus be taken to produce xenohormone-free packaging in the future.


Your advantage

  • Competitive edge thanks to know-how advantage with regard to requirements by legislators and retailers regarding xenohormone contamination of packaging
  • Ensuring the health safety of packaging with regard to endocrine disruptors
  • Marketing own packaging as xenohormone-free => positive image with customers and in the media
  • Protection against sales losses and associated economic damage as a result of negative reporting or legal requirements on xenohormones

We use validated bioassays and chromatography methods

Validated bioassays

  • YES/YAS: (Yeast Estrogen/Androgen Screen): Standard screening test for estrogen- or androgen-active substances using genetically modified yeast cells.
  • CALUX assays: Highly sensitive human cell assay for the detection of estrogens, androgens, thyroid hormones and PPAR-active substances.


Validated chromatography methods

  • Multimethod of the 30 most important substances used in food packaging that are suspected of being endocrine disruptors (e.g. bisphenol A, nonylphenol, benzophenone, phthalates, etc.).
  • Screening for unknown endocrine disruptors in packaging by database matching of mass spectra.


We determine the following hormone activities

  • Estrogens (female sex hormones) and antiestrogens
  • Androgens (male sex hormones) and antiandrogens
  • Thyroid hormones
  • PPAR (substances affecting fatty acid and glucose metabolism)

Team Leader Microbiology & Cell Culture

Dr. Christian Kirchnawy
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