LASRA has been developing its on-site capabilities to identify changes in the protein composition of skins and hides that occur during processing which relate to loss of strength. Using procedures developed by Dr. Ahn from her work at Massey University we have been able to successfully run our first in-house gels and verified they are identical to those we have previously run at Massey.

By extracting the protein from differently processed skins and hides using this qualitative 1-D gel analysis technique, and excising the more interesting bands from the gels for further analysis using the Agilent 6520 HPLC-Chip Q-TOF mass Spectrometer at Massey, we are able to quantify the effect of different chemical processing regimes on the protein composition of skins and hides.

The goal is to provide information to help develop processing recipes which reduce damage to the collagen fibre network, to retain as much of the intrinsic strength as possible, and optimise chemical usage and processing times.