In order to analyse the anserine, carnosine and taurine contents in chicken essences, a high performance liquid chromatograph coupled with an electrospray ionisation (ESI) tandem mass (MS/MS) detector was used. Standards of anserine, carnosine and taurine were derivatised with dabsyl-Cl and their charged states during MS/MS analyses were detected before selected reaction monitoring (SRM) settings were determined. It was found that taurine exhibited exclusively as dabsyl-taurine with one charge at ESI+ mode. The major derivatives of anserine and carnosine showed coupling to one and two dabsyl groups, respectively, and both exhibited double charges at ESI+ mode. The SRM settings of 413 > 224, 265 > 121 and 401 > 224 were therefore selected for the dabsyl derivatives of taurine, anserine and carnosine, respectively, and they gave very good identification of those compounds found in chicken essence. The concentrations of taurine, anserine and carnosine in several commercial chicken essences determined with this MS monitoring method were much lower than those determined with traditional UV monitoring method, which was thought to result from the better identification of MS.