The performance of atmospheric pressure gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry compared to gas chromatography-high resolution mass spectrometry for the analysis of polychlorinated dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls in food and feed samples
Ten Dam, G.; Pussente, I.Cabreira.; Scholl, G.; Eppe, G.; Schaechtele, A.; van Leeuwen, S.
Journal of Chromatography. a 1477: 76-90
ISSN/ISBN: 0021-9673 PMID: 27894695 DOI: 10.1016/j.chroma.2016.11.035
Recently, gas chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS) has been added in European Union (EU) legislation as an alternative to magnetic sector high resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) for the analysis of dioxins and dioxin like polychlorinated biphenyls (dl-PCB) in food and feed. In this study the performance of APGC-MS/MS compared to GC-HRMS is investigated and compared with EU legislation. The study includes the legislative parameters, relative intermediate precision standard deviation (SRw,rel), trueness, sensitivity, linear range and ion ratio tolerance. In addition, over 200 real samples of large variety and spanning several orders of magnitude in concentration were analyzed by both techniques and the selectivity was evaluated by comparing chromatograms. The SRw,rel and trueness were evaluated using (in-house) reference samples and fulfill to EU legislation, though the SRw,rel was better with GC-HRMS. The sensitivity was considerably better than of GC-HRMS while the linear range was similar. Ion ratios were mostly within the tolerable range of ±15%. A (temporary unresolved) systematic deviation in ion ratio was observed for several congeners, yet this did not lead to exceeding of the maximum ion ratio limits. The APGC-MS/MS results for the non-dioxin-like-PCBs (ndl-PCBs) were negatively biased, particularly for PCB138 and 153 in contaminated samples. The selectivity of APGC-MS/MS was lower for several matrices. Particularly for contaminated samples, interfering peaks were observed in the APGC chromatograms of the native compounds (dioxins) and labeled internal standards (PCBs). These can lead to biased results and ultimately to false positive samples. It was concluded that the determination of dioxins and PCBs using APGC-MS/MS meets the requirements set by the European Commission. However, due to generally better selectivity and SRw,rel, GC-HRMS is the preferred method for monitoring purposes.