LA GAZETTE DU LABORATOIRE: Liquid chromatography expert in Belgium and Luxembourg For all your applications!

LA GAZETTE DU LABORATOIRE: Liquid chromatography expert in Belgium and Luxembourg For all your applications!

SerCoLab, a company based near Antwerp, Belgium, will once again participate in the Laborama expo [booth B10 - Brussels Expo - March 14 & 15, 2024]. As a specialist in chromatography and purification techniques, particularly in liquid chromatography (HPLC), it is a key partner for Belgian and Luxembourg laboratories seeking custom solutions to complex problems and specific needs. SerCoLab offers a wide range of premium brands of equipment, software, columns, and consumables, along with expert support and after-sales service. This is introduced by their Commercial Director, Frank VANDERSTRAETEN.

The Laboratory Gazette (LGdL): "Hello Mr. VANDERSTRAETEN. To begin, could you remind us of SerCoLab's primary mission?"

Frank VANDERSTRAETEN (F.V.): "SerCoLab's missions are encapsulated in the company's name, meaning Services and Controls for Laboratories. We specialize in providing tailor-made solutions, from instrumentation to associated software and services, including for the most advanced or unusual separation and purification applications. Our main area of expertise is chromatography, especially HPLC [(U)HPLC, Nano/Micro LC, Fast LC, and On-Line], and we operate in Belgium and Luxembourg. We work with a wide variety of laboratories, from biopharmaceutical R&D and quality control to the agri-food and environmental sectors, through to petrochemicals and fine chemistry, as well as academic research institutes, private labs, hospitals, and universities..."

LGdL: "Could you tell us about the origins of SerCoLab and its current organization?"

F.V.: "SerCoLab was founded in 1987 with the goal of providing high-quality expertise and products for the growing chromatography market. In 2001, our team joined the Tafco NV family group - a part of BGI, Bormans Global Investment - benefiting since then from logistical organization and financial structure as well as complementary skills to support its development.

Among the six companies now within the Tafco group, three are active in analytics:

  • SerCoLab, partnering with Belgian and Luxembourg labs mainly in HPLC, but also in online SPE systems, air sampling, osmometry, material testing, and microtomes for microscopy;
  • Its sister company Separations Analytical Instruments, integrated into BGI in 2006, mainly serving the Dutch market in consulting, distribution, installation, and maintenance of analytical and preparative chromatography systems and/or control processes and software;
  • Advanced Chromatography Solution (ACS), part of the Tafco group since 2022 and now based in our premises. Kirsten DE KEYSER, leading ACS, joined our application laboratory with over 20 years of technical experience in chromatography. The aim is to handle daily user challenges, developing and transferring methods, training, and implementing analysis instruments and associated protocols based on HPLC. Core offerings also include online measurement and the ACS FoodAnalyser, highly valued in the agri-food sector for analyzing organic acids, vitamins, amino acids, mycotoxins, ergot alkaloids, sugars, sweeteners, antioxidants, acrylamide, etc. The ACS FoodAnalyser is not just an instrument, but a complete solution: a sample preparation protocol, all reagents and standards included, a column, the analytical method, installation, training, and commissioning on real samples are completed in two days."

LGdL: "Who are SerCoLab's manufacturing partners?"

F.V.: "SerCoLab is the privileged partner - and for many the exclusive distributor - in Belgium and Luxembourg of globally recognized suppliers and brands, such as:

→ Knauer GmbH for its complete range of liquid chromatography modules, both in analytical HPLC and FPLC (Fast Protein Liquid Chromatography) and preparative LC, including columns and consumables (capillaries, tubing, ferrules...), as well as high-pressure precision dosing pumps and osmometers...

→ Claind, known worldwide for its ultra-pure gas generators (compressed air, nitrogen, hydrogen) including its historic Brezza solution, recently complemented by the Olympia and Plinius series for supplying gases needed in LC/MS, GC, and GC-MS.

→ Tosoh Bioscience for its liquid chromatography columns, analytical and preparative, and its preparative resins. A highlight of these ranges is that all stationary phases available in preparative columns are also available in bulk for scale-up to production. We also offer GPC/SEC instruments (with IR, UV, MALS, and viscometer detectors) all from Tosoh, aimed at determining molecular weight, radius of gyration, shape, and branching in polymers, from plastics to biomolecules.

→ HTA for its sample handlers and custom automated sample preparation workstations, particularly in HPLC: (U)HPLC, nanoLC, prepLC, LC

LGdL: "What are SerCoLab's main strengths in the Belgian and Luxembourg markets?"

F.V.: "Beyond the rigorous selection of products we offer, we prioritize the quality of our services and our ability to address all issues in terms of separation and purification, including the most complex. We aim to establish a personalized and long-term relationship with each of our clients, based on a flexible, solution-oriented approach that is perfectly tailored to their specific application needs. Specifically, we do not provide standard HPLC systems but instead offer customized solutions designed from a wide range of modules including a variety of isocratic, binary, ternary, and quaternary pumps, valves, detectors, sample handlers, and fraction collectors, assembled to precisely meet our clients' needs. And, in cases where we do not have the desired components in our portfolio, we search for them from other suppliers with whom we sometimes initiate new collaborations. Our experts install, maintain, and perform qualifications (IQ, OQ, PQ) while working on the development of applications and methods as well as user training. The technical expertise of our team, our mastery of instrumentation, and our adaptability are also key assets for ensuring the maintenance of second-hand equipment, even the oldest."

LGdL: "Is there a solution or product you would particularly like to highlight?"

F.V.: "The ACS FoodAnalyzer, targeting the food market, is particularly suited to the shift in consumer preferences towards more authenticity, health, and well-being, and to the industry's desire to meet these demands. As a modular multiparameter analytical platform, it has been designed to measure a multitude of food quality and safety criteria, such as organic acids, amino acids, mycotoxins, ergot alkaloids, acrylamide, or the sugar profile, sweeteners, antioxidants, salt content, or minerals... The ACS FoodAnalyzer employs HPLC technology and meets each need through the development of a specific method, associated with the creation of a dedicated kit integrating the protocol and all the consumables to successfully perform the analysis. The instrument is developed in such a way that the analysis of a parameter (for example, sugars) requires only one protocol, regardless of the type of ingredient or food matrix. The combination of all parameters allows for a comprehensive overview of the product's taste and quality factors."

If you are operating in Belgium or Luxembourg and are looking to optimize your analysis or purification protocols, the entire SerCoLab team is at your service!

For more information: - SerCoLab also invites you to connect on its new LinkedIn page:, and looks forward to meeting you at booth B10 at the Laborama expo, on March 14 and 15, 2024, Brussels Expo.