Detection of melamine in milk products by surface desorption atmospheric pressure chemical ionization mass spectrometry.

Department of Applied Chemistry, East China Institute of Technology, Fuzhou, 344000 PR China.
Analytical Chemistry (Impact Factor: 5.7). 05/2009; 81(7):2426-36. DOI: 10.1021/ac900063u
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Without any sample pretreatment, trace amounts of melamine in various milk products were rapidly detected noting the characteristic fragments (i.e., m/z 110, 85, and 60) in the MS/MS spectrum of protonated melamine molecules (m/z 127) recorded by using surface desorption atmospheric pressure chemical ionization mass spectrometry. Signal responses of the most abundant ionic fragment (m/z 85) of protonated melamine were well correlated with the amounts of melaime in milk products, showing a dynamic range about 5 orders of magnitude. The limit of detection (LOD) was found to be 3.4 x 10(-15) g/mm(2) (S/N = 3) for the detection of pure melamine deposited on the paper surface, which was much lower than that for detection of melamine in powdered milk (1.6 x 10(-11) g/mm(2), S/N = 3) or liquid milk (1.3 x 10(-12) g/mm(2), S/N = 3). The significant difference in LOD was ascribed to the relatively strong molecular interactions between melamine and the matrix such as proteins in the milk products. As demonstrated using desorption electrospray ionization (DESI) for melamine detection, weakening the molecular interaction between analytes and proteins is proposed as a general strategy to improve the sensitivity of ambient mass spectrometry for direct detection of analytes bound in protein matrixes. The relative standard deviation (RSD) and the recovery of this method were found to be 5.2 approximately 11.9% and 87 approximately 113%, respectively, for the detection of melamine in milk products. A single sample analysis was completed within a few seconds, providing a particularly convenient way to rapidly screen melamine presence in milk products.

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