Sample Submission

Sample Submission, Storage & Reporting

To request analysis of your samples, please fill in the Analysis Request Form.

Please label each container consecutively starting with # 1 for each form. Clearly indicate on the form if there is an exception, such as a missing number. Use a waterproof marker appropriate for sample storage (e.g., freezer marking pen for frozen samples). Sample descriptions can be sent to NRAL via email; this way, sample numbers can be matched to sample identification in the final report.

Often certain parameters of interest can change depending on storage conditions and length of time from sample collection. NRAL has a walk-in cooler in addition to upright refrigerators and freezers to provide adequate sample storage conditions.

The laboratory can give you information on method detection limits (MDL) for all analyses offered. Please advise the lab of any sample matrix components and contaminants (if known) when discussing your analytical needs, as these may affect the reported MDL.

Samples can be delivered by hand or mailed to:

Natural Resources Analytical Lab
Department of Renewable Resources
4-52 of the South Academic Building (SAB)
Edmonton, Alberta, T5G 2G7

After the samples are received and logged based on the information provided on the Analysis Request Form, you will receive a confirmation email. The email message will include a detailed summary of the anticipated charges.

Samples are processed in the order received by the lab. If testing needs to be conducted on a rush basis, please contact the lab to make arrangements. There will be an extra charge for rush samples.

Sample Preparation

  • The preparation required for your samples depends on the desired tests.  Please consult the lab if you are unsure how to prepare your samples.
  • The lab grinds (100 mesh) samples as needed. There is a charge for any additional sample preparation.
  • Generally, unless air-dried, it is best to keep all samples at 4°C (35°F), or frozen if you are sending extracts.
  • Costs may be reduced if processing (grinding, extractions, digestions) is done prior to submission or performed by students.

Sample Disposal/Storage

  • Please indicate on the Analysis Request Form your preference for sample disposal (pick-up, discard, return by mail).
  • Unclaimed samples will be discarded 30 days after data is sent from the laboratory, due to limited storage space.

Reporting of Data

The report you receive from the laboratory will include:

  1. Sample Identification
  2. Analytical Data
  3. Concentration units (e.g. mg/kg)
  4. Date of analysis
  5. Method used
  6. Detection limits
  7. Quality Control Data Summary (QC % Recovery, blank & duplicate data)
  8. Analyst Identification

Any special problems encountered during analyses (interferences, insufficient sample, etc.) and its effect on results will also be reported.

The final report is automatically sent to the submitter. Please review your results upon receipt of the report. If you have questions, please contact the lab.