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Beta Analytic Offers EN 16785 to Verify Bio-based Content

Beta Analytic provides Carbon-14 analyses for clients seeking bio-based carbon testing as part of the standard EN 16785-1 published by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN). This standard will be the basis of an upcoming European certification scheme for bio-based products implemented in 2016. It details the requirements for determining bio-based content of a given product using radiocarbon analysis and elemental analysis. The standard references CEN/TS 16640 for the Carbon-14 component.

For the purposes of EN 16785-1, the term “bio-based” means “derived from biomass.” A bio-based product is one that is partially or wholly comprised of materials derived from biomass. The new standard is applicable to any solid, liquid and gaseous product containing carbon, thus encompassing a broad range of bio-based products. It is hoped that this standardization will provide transparency and clarity to businesses and consumers assessing bio-based value chains throughout Europe.

A bio-based certification scheme based on this standard was also launched in 2016. By obtaining a bio-based certificate, companies can demonstrate the minimum share of bio-based content in their products on the label. A register of certified products will be publicly available on an online database, thus providing transparent and easily accessed information on the bio-based products available to businesses and consumers.

Determination of the Bio-based Content using Radiocarbon Analysis

The purpose of the bio-based carbon content measurement is to determine what percentage of the carbon within a bio-based product is derived from biomass relative to the more readily sourced and less expensive petroleum-based alternatives. Radiocarbon analysis measures the isotope Carbon-14 present in all organic materials. Due to the rate of the isotope’s radioactive decay, it is all but absent in materials older than 45,000 years, thus helping to distinguish products derived from fossil materials from those derived from more recent organic matter. The measurement is a necessary part of certification under EN 16785-1.

In addition to the analytical requirements for Carbon-14 analysis, EN 16785 demands a statement from the manufacturer, which are validated by the combined results from the radiocarbon and the elemental analyses.

Beta Analytic does not offer elemental analysis at this time.

About Beta Analytic

Beta Analytic offers radiocarbon analyses in compliance with this standard, drawing upon over thirty-five years of technical experience and a decade of regulatory expertise to aid producers, suppliers and consumers in testing products for bio-based content. In 2008, Beta Analytic was the first radiocarbon laboratory to be awarded the ISO/IEC 17025:2017 accreditation by Perry Johnson Laboratory Accreditation, cementing its reputation as a highly competent and reliable testing laboratory. Today, it is the world’s largest radiocarbon dating and bio-based content testing laboratory and works alongside producers and regulators alike to stay at the forefront of the industry’s bio-based testing needs.

Beta Analytic is headquartered in Miami, Florida with international offices in Europe, Japan, China, Korea, and Taiwan. The lab offers high-quality bio-based carbon content measurements using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) with online reporting, technical support, and quality assurance reports included. Customer service is available in English, Chinese, French, German, Korean, Portuguese, and Spanish.

Contact the lab at for more information.

Other services offered:
ASTM D6866 testing
Bio-based Testing for LEED v4 certification

Beta Analytic is not affiliated with ASTM, the USDA, CEN or the EC.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 29th, 2016 and is filed under Beta Analytic Updates .