Wide-Scope Screening of Illegal Adulterants in Dietary and Herbal Supplementsvia Rapid Polarity-Switching and Multistage Accurate Mass Confirmation Using an LC-IT/TOF Hybrid Instrument
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry | 21 Jul 2015
B Guo, M Wang, Y Liu, J Zhou, H Dai, Z Huang, L Shen, Q Zhang and B Chen
A new analytical strategy was developed that integrates a generic sample preparation into a liquid chromatography-multistage ion trap/time-of-flight mass spectrometry (LC-IT(MSn)/TOF), allowing for large-scale screening and qualitative confirmation of wide-scope illegal adulterants in different food matrices. Samples were pretreated by a fast single-tube multi-function extraction for accurate multistage mass measurement on the hybrid LC-IT/TOF system. A qualitative validation performed for over 500 analyte-matrix pairs showed the method can reduce most of the matrix effects and achieve a lower limit of confirmation at 0.1 mg/kg for 73% of the target compounds. An unique combination of dual-polarity detection, retention time, isotopic profile and accurate MSn spectra enables more comprehensive and precise confirmation, based on the multiparameter matching by automated library searching against the user-created database. Finally we demonstrated the applicability of this LC-IT(MSn)/TOF-based screening procedure for discriminating coeluting isobars, identifying nontarget adulterants, and even tentatively elucidating unexpected species in real samples.
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