Foundation Analytical Laboratory: Science Built, Client Driven

Focused on biofuels, Foundation Analytical Laboratory’s mission is to deliver exemplary customer service with scientific excellence. The Iowa-based company not only supports fleets and standalone ethanol plants, but biofuel input providers.
By EPM Staff | September 29, 2020

After a successful career in the food industry, gaining experience in processing, production and distribution, Diane Young left the corporate world in 2009 to launch Foundation Analytical Laboratory Inc. in her hometown of Cherokee, Iowa—the heartland of ethanol country. The bold decision to start her own company was years in the making. After receiving degrees in agricultural microbiology, animal/dairy science, and a minor in chemistry, Young worked in and managed in-house laboratories, which often utilized contract labs for outside testing. She found herself frustrated with the lack of customer service, as well as quality of data, from outside labs, and decided to do something about it.

“While the science of chemical and microbiological analysis is our backbone, the art of human relationships is our lifeblood,” says Young, owner and director of technical services at FAL. More than just a motto, she says the company fosters an environment in which the client truly views FAL as an extension of their own business.

While holding multiple analytical certifications in feed, pet food, environmental and food industries, FAL’s primary focus continues to be on biofuels. The personnel at FAL dedicate themselves to understanding and serving this crucial industry through higher education, an ever-growing ISO 17025:2017 accreditation, and investment in new technologies.

“The biofuel industry is complex and multifaceted,” Young says. “We recognize and embrace the fact that all plants and fleets do not have the same needs and hot buttons. This business is built upon how I wanted to be treated when I was a customer of a contract lab. Through our love of the ethanol trade, we have developed valued relationships with over 50 percent of the industry and are proud to have them view us as their partners.”

Though FAL is a contract lab, Young says the staff has been on the “other side of the sample.” Members of the FAL team come from the corporate world as well as quality assurance/control teams and labs in production facilities. They embrace the necessity of having accurate, precise, and quality results in a timely manner, and understand that results of analysis are critical to the client’s decision-making process. The continually growing Analytical Team is a group of highly educated farm kids who have come back to their roots—all grew up within 45 miles of Cherokee—with a broader understanding of the industry and the desire to do what it takes to get the job done. The team is always excited to work with clients to develop the best possible plan to meet and exceed all expectations.

FAL is recognized as an industry leader not only in the chemical and microbiological analysis of coproducts, but as an expert in the analysis of mycotoxins by UPLCMSMS. Investments in high-value analytical technologies, including the construction of a new state-of-the-art facility, have allowed expanded offerings for the analysis of inputs, processes flows, coproducts, and the testing of alcohol for hand sanitizers.

The FAL Team not only supports fleets and standalone sites by offering traditional methodologies, but also excels in providing specific and proprietary analysis for research and development projects for both plants as well as biofuel input providers.

FAL’s mission is “Exemplary Customer Service with Scientific Excellence." IntegriLIMS® is the latest step in Young’s vision to revolutionize the customer experience. Created from the collaboration between client users and the FAL Technology team, this web-based Laboratory Information Management System has been designed to streamline sample submittal, but perhaps more importantly, put data at the client’s fingertips.

Contact Foundation Analytical at to explore how the company can assist you in developing the analysis program that best suits your needs.