Non-Targeted Screening Approaches for Food

February 21, 2017
Lewis Botcherby

The Column

Volume 13, Issue 3
Page Number: 6

Non-targeted screening approaches are an essential element of food safety strategies, detecting novel or unexpected food contaminants and adulterants. However, the development and implementation of generalized and non-targeted screening workflows for food matrices is challenging. The inherent sample complexity and diversity as well as large analyte concentration ranges represent significant obstacles.

Non-targeted screening approaches are an essential element of food safety strategies, detecting novel or unexpected food contaminants and adulterants. However, the development and implementation of generalized and non-targeted screening workflows for food matrices is challenging. The inherent sample complexity and diversity as well as large analyte concentration ranges represent significant obstacles. 

A review published in the Journal of Chromatography A examines the use of liquid chromatography coupled to high-resolution mass spectrometry (LC–MS) to address these issues (1). Citing the reduction of sample complexity and ability to generate molecular formulae for compounds of interest as justification for the approach. The paper also covers the current capabilities, strategies, and challenges surrounding sample preparation, mass spectrometry, chromatography, and data processing workflows. Discussing approaches to increase the accuracy and speed of identifying unknown molecular species and offering suggestions for achieving sufficient data quality for non‑targeted screening applications. - L.B.

Reference

  • Ann M. Knolhoff and Timothy R. Croley, Journal of Chromatography A1428, 86–96 (2016).