Preventing false negatives with high-resolution mass spectrometry: the benzophenone case

Authors


C. P. B. Martins, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Cardenal Reig 19 Local, 08028 Barcelona, Spain.

E-mail: claudia.martins@thermofisher.com

Abstract

Benzophenone (BP) is one of the many contaminants reported as present in foodstuffs due to its migration from food packaging materials. Liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) is acknowledged in the literature as the method of choice for this analysis. However, cases have been reported where the use of this methodology was insufficient to unambiguously confirm the presence of a contaminant. In previous work performed by the authors, the unequivocal identification of BP in packaged foods was not possible even when monitoring two m/z transitions (precursor ion – product ion), since ion ratio errors higher than 20% were obtained. In order to overcome this analytical problem a fast, sensitive and selective liquid chromatography/high-resolution mass spectrometry (LC/HRMS) methodology has been developed and applied to the analysis of BP in packaged foods. A direct comparison between LC/HRMS and LC/MS/MS data indicated better selectivity when working with LC/HRMS at a resolving power of 50 000 FWHM (full width at half maximum) than when monitoring two m/z transitions by LC/MS/MS. The resolving power used enabled the detection and identification of Harman as the compound impeding the confirmation of BP by LC-MS/MS. Similar quantitative results were obtained by an Orbitrap mass analyser (Exactive™) and a triple quadrupole mass analyser (TSQ Quantum Ultra AM™). Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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