Decoding a consumer product through deformulation

After moving production to a co-manufacturer, our wanted to help them ensure their cleaning product met regulatory requirements. This is how we helped.



The challenge


A wholesale supplier asked RSSL to determine the components of a cleaning product produced by its co-manufacturer to ensure regulatory compliance.


Expert analysis


This analysis could only be carried out by complete product de-formulation; a complex process that involved reverse engineering the chemical formulation so that its constituent parts could be identified and quantified.


The team first used a series of untargeted screening methods to gain a broad understanding of the product’s entire composition: 


  • X-ray microanalysis confirmed that the bulk of the product was made up of carbon, oxygen and sodium, plus trace amounts of silicon, phosphorous, sulphur and chlorine.
  • NMR spectroscopy identified low levels of citric, malic and adipic acid, as well as fatty acid methyl esters and polyethylene glycol.
  • Fourier Transform Infrared (FR-IR) spectroscopy techniques indicated carbonate and sodium silicate.
  • A wet chemistry colorimetric test determined the type of detergent present.




We then moved to a targeted approach to quantify the components noted by the initial analysis, with specific techniques tailored to the material in question:


  • Water content of the detergent by Karl Fischer titration
  • Molecular weight of the polyethene glycol by size exclusion chromatography
  • Organic acids and anions by ion chromatography
  • Fatty acid methyl esters by gas chromatography
  • Polyethylene glycol by NMR.

The result


Our product de-formulation analysis provided a detailed understanding of the cleaning product’s formulation, enabling our client to demonstrate regulatory compliance and safeguard its business reputation. 


Fast and accurate product deformulation 


With their range of deformulation expertise and capabilities, our accomplished team of scientists are well prepared to support your product strategies. Find out more by clicking the link below.

Contact us

Call us on either number below

Switchboard: +44 (0)118 918 4000

Customer Services: +44 (0)118 918 4076

We value your trust when sharing your personal data with us. We always treat your data in a fair and respectful manner limited to the purpose above mentioned. If you would like to know more about how we handle your data, please read our privacy notice.