Reverse engineering, or deformulation, of chemical formulations, materials and products delivered by experienced analytical industry experts

Deformulation or reverse engineering of a chemical formulation provides specific information about the composition of formulated products and how these components interact. Deformulation helps to determine which chemicals, substances or materials are incorporated into a product. This can be as challenging as designing a new product since complex product formulations can contain dozens of components of varying chemical nature. 

Our analytical chemists apply their industry knowledge to reverse engineering and deformulating projects, helping you to further your understanding of chemical formulations or products, and, importantly, how the constituent elements perform and interact. We do not simply provide a basic list of elements or a ‘menu’ but undertake a structured, strategic approach.

The resulting data can help your company make decisions concerning product innovation, quality control and product performance improvement, as well as exploring areas of patent infringement or investigating instances where patents have lapsed. Intertek’s scientists support your formulation or product development through strategic reverse-engineering analytical programmes in which we deploy multi-technique approaches in order to construct an enhanced insight into a specific formulation or material and to impart an understanding of why it works.

We can provide data that helps to progress the understanding of the various components of a formulation, ingredient concentration and to illustrate how these components and ingredients interact and perform. Our experience assists leading innovators across industries including chemical, beauty & personal care, cosmeticsfood, medical devices, electronics, construction, cleaning  products and wipes, packaging and polymers.

We are experts in particular chemical technology which imparts a functional role to formulations such as coatings, polymer additives, fragrances, rheology agents, biocides, pigments or dyes, preservatives, surface treatment agents,  and surfactants

Our reverse engineering projects are an important way to address patent infringement, support innovation, quality control issues, and to assist a particular chemical technology into the market. Through our coordinated approach, we work closely with our clients, providing confidential and independent testing expertise and directing our skills toward areas such as separation science, spectroscopy, extraction, elemental analysis, mass spectrometry and to physical testing. 

Typical deformulation projects we undertake include:

  • Product development
  • Competitor product analysis
  • Product benchmarking
  • Confirmation of product identity
  • Analysis of products for specific chemicals
  • Patent infringement investigation


Intertek provides a multi-tiered approach to deformulation and reverse engineering, providing the client with a realistic expectation of results and widespread awareness and assistance. Our independent and confidential approach will ensure that your business’s research into the constituent components of a formulated chemical product will be meaningful and highly accurate.

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