00:00 In the lab here at Sheffield we do a variety of different tests,
00:04 some of which are quality control for the factory, so testing that the sweets are up to the right standard.
00:11 We also check the effluent to make sure that we’re not throwing too much sugar away
00:16 and another part of the work that we do is looking at projects to help the factory
00:19 when they’ve got problems or if they’re developing new products.
00:22 A lot of the testing that we do in the lab has a really strong chemistry base to it.
00:28 We’ll test the sweets for acidity, which uses pH and we’ll test for moisture, which is the water content,
00:34 we’ll test for the sugar and glucose content,
00:38 we’ll also measure things like menthol and eucalyptus using gas chromatography
00:43 for our medicated products, so really everything that we do has a base in chemistry.
00:48 We have two main types of jobs in the laboratory.
00:53 We have laboratory analysts who tend to do a lot of the routine analysis in the day-to-day
00:58 testing and sampling from the factory, and also we have laboratory scientists
01:04 who are more involved in technical projects and problem-solving for the factory.
01:09 Qualifications that we mainly look for are a good grounding in science, so any of the science subjects,
01:14 obviously chemistry is really useful, and we look for GCSEs or A levels
01:20 for the analysts and when we get up to the scientist level we look for people with a scientific degree.
01:27 I think if you want to work in a manufacturing laboratory, it’s important obviously to get your qualifications
01:34 and as we’ve said before, chemistry is really important here.
01:37 But also to try and get an understanding of what the business does,
01:41 and maybe try and get some experience in laboratories if you can as well.
01:45 It’s a really varied role, you never know who’s going to come through the door,
01:49 what kind of problem they’re going to bring you,
01:51 what’s the issue today, it could be totally different from what you did yesterday.
01:55 There is a lot of routine work but, you know, you can make that interesting as well,
02:00 and learn more about the techniques, and we’re all learning every day about how to make sweets,
02:05 and how to improve the tests.
02:07 I’m actually a biochemistry graduate, so I studied chemistry for GCSE and again for A level,
02:13 and then at university, did quite a lot of chemistry but quite a lot of biology as well,
02:18 so both sides of the science.
02:20 Some of the tests that we do in the lab are actually based on really basic chemistry principles,
02:25 like pH, for example, although we’ve got a technical, sort of, machine, that will do it for us,
02:32 we still have got the indicator papers so we can say
02:36 you know, it’s acid, it’s alkali, and also things like titrations are really important.
02:41 And we use those for, one for pH, also for moisture and also for the sugar analysis.
02:47 As you can see, we’ve got lots of different equipment in the lab, some of the main things we use are titrators,
02:54 which are based on the, sort of, bench test that we used to do with burettes,
02:59 but now we have automated equipment; we have a Karl Fischer
03:02 to do moisture analysis, we have a gas chromatograph,
03:07 and a high-performance liquid chromatograph as well,
03:10 which we can use to analyse sugars and menthol and eucalyptus.
03:15 We have a UV spectrophotometer, we use quite a lot of spectroscopy like that,
03:21 and obviously we’ve got basic microscopes where we can look at any foreign body contamination,
03:30 or if we’re checking to make sure the product’s been cooked.