The US FDA and international regulatory agencies have set contamination levels for aflatoxins in animal feedstuffs. Since Aspergillus may infect commodities pre-harvest, during storage or during processing, monitoring for aflatoxins in associated agricultural
commodities at all stages of production is requisite. Field screening methods exist that are adequate to estimate contamination levels for aflatoxins. When additional confirmation or quantification is desired,
chromatographic laboratory analysis is often necessary. Preparation of matrix samples prior to chromatographic analysis typically requires
extraction and purification. Commonly, immunoaffinity columns (IAC), which employ a multi-step bind and elute mechanism to concentrate
and purify aflatoxins, are used to purify matrix samples for subsequent analysis. Solid phase extraction (SPE), an alternate method which
may use interference removal, can also be employed.
Beverages, such as sodas and energy drinks, can include a number of polar ingredients, which are easily soluble in the water matrix of the drinks. These ingredients include sweeteners (sugars and sugar substitutes), caffeine, vitamin supplements, amino acids, organic acids, and plant extracts. Because the analytes are already in solution, there is no need for extensive sample preparation. Dilution followed by direct injection into an HPLC is typically suitable.
In this article we present two beverage applications using Ascentis Express HPLC columns. Ascentis Express columns offer faster HPLC on any system. One benefit is their ability to produce the resolution, efficiency, and speed on conventional HPLC systems that is associated with the use of sub-2 micron columns on a UHPLC system, without generating high backpressure. Column chemistries (RP-Amide and HILIC) were selected for this article based on their enhanced performance with polar compounds in comparison to C18.
A group of 30 compounds was selected, representing pesticides, acaricides, insecticides, and fungicides. These samples were analyzed using Supel™ QuE QuEChERS and an Ascentis® Express RP-Amide HPLC Column.
An application was developed to demonstrate increased pigment removal for the analysis of pesticides, using Supel™ QuE Z-Sep/C18 QuEChERS and an Ascentis® Express C18 HPLC Column. The improved cleanup can decrease column and instrument fouling, leading to extended LC column lifetime and reduced instrument downtime.
Mycotoxins are a diverse group comprised of hundreds of secondary metabolic products of various fungal species. Several show marked toxicity in humans. Contamination of the food supply with mycotoxins is increasingly prevalent, and can occur during growth, harvest, transportation, processing or storage. Techniques to reduce mycotoxin concentration after contamination are expensive, unreliable and sometimes reversible. Therefore, the removal of contaminated products from the food chain is a primary means of eliminating human exposure. The sensitive and accurate detection of very low levels of these compounds is critical to efforts to identify contaminated products. LC-MS/MS is a popular analytical technique for this purpose. This application explores using Ascentis® Express RP-Amide and Ascentis Express F5 HPLC columns to perform this analysis.