Mass spectrometry plays an increasingly significant role in the analysis of residues and contaminants in food. Here we will illustrate how the combination of ultrahigh-pressure liquid chromatography (UHPLC) and high-resolution time-of-flight-mass spectrometry (TOF-MS) is used to generate a screen of veterinary drug residues in products of animal origin. The use of UHPLC–TOF-MS and dedicated, workflow directed software allows rapid screening for large numbers of residues and automated quantification of positive samples. In addition, we illustrate how the data generated using MSE acquisition mode enable critical structural information to be collected, which offers additional selectivity and confirmatory data for compound identification and facilitates elucidation of the structure of newly discovered compounds.
Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS) and liquid chromatography (LC)–MS are widespread successful approaches, based on single-quadrupole MS, for the routine detection, identification, and quantitation of compounds. There has, however, been increasing interest in the use of tandem MS in more challenging, complex matrices such as those commonly found in food, environmental, and biological analyses. The combination of GC with tandem-quadrupole MS (MS-MS) is discussed, where the inherent increase in selectivity and sensitivity of the approach has enabled rapid, confident compound detection and quantitation for such demanding applications.