In the last decade, ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) has reemerged as an analytical separation technique, especially due to the commercialization of ion mobility mass spectrometers. Its applicability has been extended beyond classical applications such as the determination of chemical warfare agents and nowadays it is widely used for the characterization of biomolecules (e.g., proteins, glycans, lipids, etc.) and, more recently, of small molecules (e.g., metabolites, xenobiotics, etc.). Following this trend, the interest in this technique is growing among researchers from different fields including food science. Several advantages are attributed to IMS when integrated in traditional liquid chromatography (LC) and gas chromatography (GC) mass spectrometry (MS) workflows: (1) it improves method selectivity by providing an additional separation dimension that allows the separation of isobaric and isomeric compounds; (2) it increases method sensitivity by isolating the compounds of interest from background noise; (3) and it provides complementary information to mass spectra and retention time, the so-called collision cross section (CCS), so compounds can be identified with more confidence, either in targeted or non-targeted approaches. In this context, the number of applications focused on food analysis has increased exponentially in the last few years. This review provides an overview of the current status of IMS technology and its applicability in different areas of food analysis (i.e., food composition, process control, authentication, adulteration and safety).
A survey including 228 pig feed samples from Spain has been developed, exploring the occurrence of 19 mycotoxins (aflatoxins B1, B2, G1 and G2, ochratoxin A, fumonisins B1 and B2, citrinin, zearalenone, deoxynivalenol, fusarenon X, sterigmatocystin, T-2 toxin, HT-2 toxin, enniatins A, A1, B and B2, and beauvericin). The samples were analysed by solid-liquid extraction followed by liquid chromatography coupled with fluorescence or mass spectrometry detection. Enniatin B was found in 100% of the samples (up to 1200 µg/kg) and beauvericin in more than 90%. Moreover, 40% of samples were contaminated with more than five mycotoxins. This high occurrence is insurmountable and surpasses all previous studies, probably due to the inclusion of emerging mycotoxins, scarcely explored. The majority of the samples (96.9%) were in accordance with EU regulations, which do not address emerging mycotoxins or co-occurrence. These results show that in order to ensure mycotoxin absence, emerging mycotoxins should always be considered.
A novel application of the three-dimensional printing technology for the automation of solid phase extraction procedures in a low-pressure sequential injection analysis system is presented. A 3D printed device was used as a housing for nanofiber membranes in solid phase extraction. The applicability of the device is demonstrated with the extraction of substances of various physical-chemical properties. Pharmaceuticals including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antihistaminics, and steroidal structures, as well as emerging pollutants such as bisphenols and pesticide metsulfuron methyl were used as model analytes to study the extraction performance of the nanofibers. Six different nanofiber types comprising polyamide, polyethylene, polyvinylidene fluoride, polycaprolactone combined with polyvinylidene fluoride, and polyacrylonitrile, produced by electrospinning were tested in solid phase extraction. The suitability of specific nanofibers for particular analytes is demonstrated.
A fundamental step in addressing the global problem of mycotoxins is the development of highly sensitive, multi-class extraction and detection methods. This constitutes a field of research that has in recent years enjoyed a steady advance. Such methods, generally based on liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry, are widely reported successfully detecting various mycotoxins in different food and feed samples. In this work, an innovative approach to multi-class mycotoxin control is proposed, offering specific advantages: a broader inclusion of more mycotoxin classes, robust and thorough extraction for all target compounds despite their varied chemical properties, and determination of all analytes from a single injection. The method involved the extraction and quantification of the main mycotoxins produced by Aspergillus, Fusarium, and Penicillium fungi, as well as their reported derivatives, together with 12 other compounds most commonly produced by Claviceps purpurea. The popularly reported QuEChERS technique has been reduced to a simple “salting-out liquid-liquid extraction” (SO-LLE) to obtain the most efficient extraction of the aforementioned mycotoxin classes in a very short time. This is in particular extremely important in ensuring correct determination of individual ergot alkaloids, for which short and robust sample preparation as well as short analytical sequences were key for minimizing the epimerization during analysis. The analyses of wheat and maize samples were performed using ultra-high performance liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry. Matrix-matched calibration curves were established and limits of quantification were below the maximum levels established by the EU regulation. The precision (repeatability and intermediate precision) was lower than 13% in all cases and recoveries ranged between 60 and 98% in maize and between 62 and 103% in wheat, fulfilling the current legislation. The method was applied to study the co-occurrence of these mycotoxins in wheat (n = 13) and maize (n = 15) samples from six European countries. A successful quantification of 23 different mycotoxins, from all major classes, in 85% of wheat and 93% of maize samples was achieved.
In the context of human and veterinary drugs identification, ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) in combination with mass spectrometry (MS) may provide a relevant complementary piece of information to mass-to-charge ratio (m/z), the so-called collision-cross-section (CCS). Up to now, however, the application of CCS as identification parameter has not been fully investigated due to the reduced number of these drugs that have being characterized in terms of CCS. This work proposes a CCS database for 92 human and veterinary drugs, including eighteen benzimidazoles, eleven 5-nitroimidazoles, eleven aminoglycosides, nineteen quinolones, eighteen β-lactams, ten sulfonamides and five tetracyclines. Among them, 37 drugs have been characterized in terms of CCS for the first time. The CCS values of the other 55 compounds have been compared with those from a recently published database in order to evaluate inter-laboratory reproducibility, which is crucial for the implementation of the CCS as identification parameter. CCS values were measured by traveling wave ion mobility spectrometry (TWIMS) under positive ionization conditions. Nitrogen was used as drift gas in the ion mobility cell. The proposed database covers 173 ions including [M+H]+ and [M+Na]+ species. High correlation between m/z and CCS has been observed for [M+H]+ (R2 = 0.9518, n = 91) and [M+Na]+ (R2 = 0.9135, n = 82) ions. As expected, CCS values for sodium adducts are generally greater than for protonated molecules because they exhibit higher molecular weight. However, sodium adducts of aminoglycosides, β-lactams, and of several quinolones and benzimidazoles, were characterized as more compact ions than their related protonated molecule. In addition, this work describes the fragmentation pattern observed for the studied molecules. For the first time, the main fragment ions for most of the compounds have also been characterized in terms of CCS, involving a total of 238 ions. As proof of concept, for the application of this database to biological matrices, eleven veterinary drugs in bovine urine samples were characterized in terms of CCS, showing that this parameter was not influenced by the matrix.
This paper evaluates the bioavailability of allium derivative propyl propane thiosulfonate (PTSO) in the pig gastrointestinal tract by means of an in vitro dynamic gastrointestinal tract simulator system (GITSS). The GITSS is based on a membrane bioreactor comprising a continuous stirred-tank reactor connected in series to a continuous plug-flow tubular reactor. Bioavailability values have been evaluated for different vehiculization strategies, including mere carriers such as polyethylene glycol sorbitan monooleate (a nonionic surfactant also known as Tween 80) and encapsulation matrices (β-cyclodextrin vs. mono- and di-glycerides of edible fatty acids mixed with hydrogenated sunflower oil) and compared with the absorption of free PTSO. The net absorbed amount of PTSO in the GITSS when Tween 80 was used as a carrier was over 3.5 times higher than the one for free PTSO. Neither the encapsulated PTSO in β-cyclodextrin nor by means of mono- and di-glycerides of fatty acids plus a vegetable oil succeeded to improve absorption values for free PTSO. These promising results indicate that Tween 80 provides an interesting and high resistance to the PTSO molecule against the simulated digestive conditions in the stomach, and thus it enables favorably the subsequent absorption process of PTSO along the intestine.
The presence of Aspergillus section Flavi and aflatoxin (AF) contamination was investigated in 112 samples of peanuts, almonds and dried figs collected in Algeria. The occurrence of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), B2 (AFB2), G1 (AFG1) and G2 (AFG2) in different commodities has been determined with a sensitive method based on high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) coupled with fluorescence detection with post-column photochemical derivatisation. Analytical results indicated that 28 samples of peanuts, 16 samples of almonds and 26 samples of dried figs contained detectable levels of AFs. A total of 69 samples (61.6%) were contaminated with AFB1 ranging from the limit of quantification to 174 µg kg−1. AFB2 was found in 12 samples (10.7%) and varied from 0.18 to 193 µg kg−1. Seven samples revealed AF concentrations lower than the limit of quantification. Eleven peanut and fourteen dried fig samples exceeded the European maximum limits for AFB1.
QuEChERS (Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effective, Rugged and Safe) methodology in combination with UHPLC–MS/MS is proposed for the determination of 5-nitroimidazole (5-NDZ) residues in infant milk-based products. Chromatographic separation was accomplished in a C18 Zorbax Eclipse Plus RRHD (50 × 2.1 mm, 1.8 μm) column under gradient elution conditions. Mobile phase consisted of 0.025% (v/v) aqueous formic acid (eluent A) and MeOH (eluent B), and was supplied at a flow rate of 0.5 mL/min. Under these conditions, eleven 5-NDZs including three metabolites were separated in less than 4 min. A novel QuEChERS method was optimized, and primary-secondary amine (PSA) sorbent was selected as clean-up agent. In addition, the proposed QuEChERS procedure was compared with other sample preparation methodologies, which are usually used in the analysis of 5-NDZs, namely solid phase extraction (SPE) using mixed cation exchange (MCX) cartridges and molecularly imprinted solid phase extraction (MISPE). Method comparison was carried out in terms of process efficiency, which includes matrix effect and extraction recovery. Higher process efficiency was generally achieved for QuEChERS and MISPE than for SPE. However, matrix effect was more significant for the non-selective QuEChERS method than for the selective MISPE. Higher extraction recoveries (63.2–94.1%) were observed for QuEChERS. The studied methods were validated in terms of linearity, detection limits (CCα), detection capabilities (CCβ) and precision, observing similar performance characteristics independently of the proposed sample treatment. CCα and CCβ ranged between 0.05 and 1.69 μg/L for all analytes and extraction techniques. QuEChERS-UHPLC–MS/MS method was also validated in terms of precision (relative standard deviations <10.3%), trueness (recovery>70.2%) and selectivity according to Regulation 2002/657/EC. It is proposed as a good alternative for the monitoring of 5-NDZ residues in enriched infant-milk based products and other similar milk based-products.
A green and simple multiresidue method using capillary liquid chromatography (CLC) with UV-diode array detection (DAD) has been developed for the determination of sixteen benzimidazoles (BZs) and its metabolites in milk samples. The separation was achieved in <32 min, using a Zorbax XDB-C18 column (150 mm × 0.5 mm I.D, 5 μm), with a mobile phase consisting of 50 mM ammonium acetate (solvent A) and a mixture of acetonitrile/methanol (1:1 v/v) (solvent B), at a flow rate of 9 μL min−1. The temperature of the column was 20 °C and 6 μL of sample were injected. In spite of the complexity of milk samples, an effective, simple and fast sample preparation method called salting out-assisted liquid-liquid extraction (SALLE) was developed for the analysis of these compounds in cow milk samples. To obtain satisfactory extraction efficiencies for the studied analytes, several parameters affecting the SALLE procedure were optimized including the amount of sample, type and volume of the extraction solvent, and the nature and amount of the salt. Good linearity was obtained (R2 > 0.9985 for all BZs) with limits of detection (LOD) between 1.0 and 2.8 μg kg−1. Relative standard deviations of repeatability and intermediate precision were below 1.6 and 14.2%, respectively. Satisfactory recoveries between 79.1 and 99.6% were also obtained for three types of milk samples (cow, sheep and goat). The advantages of a miniaturized technique such as CLC in terms of better efficiencies and reduced solvent consumption, combined with the simplicity of the SALLE procedure, make this method a useful alternative for the monitoring of these residues at trace level.