Craft Technologies, a contract laboratory in Wilson that analyzes nutrients, vitamins, carotenoids, bioflavonoids and phytochemicals, has been acquired by the food division of Eurofins North America for undisclosed terms.

“We are looking forward to a bright future with Eurofins,” said Neal Craft, Ph.D., president of Craft. “We are hoping to make a significant contribution in areas that the group may not have a large presence currently.”

When the acquisition closed on Dec. 31, Craft had 17 employees at its 10,000-square-foot facility near I-95 in Wilson. All of them will be retained by Eurofins, a Craft spokesman said.

Craft provides analytical services for clients in private industry, government and academia worldwide. Its labs include instrumentation for liquid and gas chromatography, mass spectrometry, spectrophotometry, fluorometry, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) and clinical testing.

Expertise to be used in foods, sampling

Eurofins said it would use those analytical capabilities for its products ranging from human and animal foods to dietary supplements, biological samples and tissues.

“I am excited to have Neal Craft and his team bringing strength in the area of testing for biologically active components,” said Lars Reimann, chief scientific officer of Eurofins Scientific, the parent company of Eurofins North America. “They have capabilities that are a nice addition to the assays currently performed within the Eurofins Group.”

Craft has a portfolio of work in fighting global nutrition challenges. Most recently, the company received funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to identify and test methods of collecting finger-stick blood spot samples and measuring 11 nutritional biomarkers. The goal is to apply the findings of this research in developing countries with adverse health, environmental and infrastructure conditions.

In 1994 Craft developed a test for Vitamin A in dried blood spots that has since been used in over 17 developing nations. The lab’s biochemical analysis enables clients around the world to test components in a broad variety of matrices and determine if populations in developing countries need nutritional intervention.

Recent work at the lab has focused on analyzing vitamin K, vitamin D, bixin/norbixin, curcuminoids, anthocyanins, less common carotenoids, nutritional biomarkers and very high-resolution separations.

Craft will also bring new vitamin analyses to Eurofins, including assays for hydroxylated vitamin D and vitamin D metabolites in biological samples, and vitamin K tests for menaquinones including MK-4, MK-7 and MK-9.

“Craft Technologies has good technical competence and a strong customer focus,” Reimann said. “I cannot see anything more fitting.”

Craft called Eastern NC’s “best-kept secret”

Neal Craft, who founded his company in 1994, said, “For a long time, people have said that Craft Technologies is the best-kept secret in this area. By becoming part of the Eurofins international group of labs we will be able to let the secret out and have a bigger impact as a result of this association.”

David Bryant, group senior vice president for Eurofins North America, said, “Neal and his team bring us tremendous synergy with their deep level of expertise and experience. From a technical standpoint, their knowledge of testing and assay development in food chemistry and nutritional supplements is well known within industry and government agencies. Craft’s continued pursuit of excellence and commitment to developing new technical competencies is important to the mission of Eurofins and for our customers’ satisfaction.”

Eurofins Scientific, headquartered in Brussels, is a global leader in food, environment and pharmaceutical products testing.

With over 30,000 staff in 400 laboratories across 42 countries, Eurofins offers more than 150,000 analytical methods for evaluating the safety, identity, composition, authenticity, origin and purity of biological substances and products, as well as for clinical diagnostics. The company performs more than 360 million tests each year.

Eurofins was founded in 1987 by Gilles Martin in France with 10 people and a focus on food authenticity and quality. The company’s stock is traded on the Euronext Paris stock exchange.

(C) N.C. Biotechnology Center