Journal of chromatography. B, Analytical technologies in the biomedical and life sciences

Determination of ultra-trace organic acids in Masson pine (Pinus massoniana L.) by accelerated solvent extraction and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.

PMID 25594951


An accelerated solvent extraction (ASE)-solid-phase extraction (SPE)-liquid chromatography with electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry (ASE-SPE-LC-ESI-MS/MS) methodology was developed for the extraction, cleanup and quantification of ultra-trace organic acids in Masson pine (Pinus massoniana L.) tissues. The separation was carried out on a Bio-Rad Aminex HPX-87H sulfonic column with an eluent containing 5 mmol L(-1) H₂SO₄ at a flow rate of 0.5 mL min(-1). A linear ion trap mass spectrometer equipped with electrospray ionization (ESI) source was operated in negative ion mode, and the six organic acids were eluted within 20 min. ASE extraction, SPE cleanup and LC-ESI-MS/MS analysis conditions were optimized to obtain reliable information about plant organic acid composition. Selective reaction monitoring (SRM) was employed for quantitative measurement. Intra-day precisions averaged 6.7%, and inter-day precisions were 2.1-10.7% for organic acid measurements in the pine samples. External standard calibration curves were linear over the range of 16.5-5000 ng L(-1), and detection limits based on a signal-to-noise ratio of three were at 0.5-5.0 ng L(-1). The results obtained showed the sensibility of the method was better than that of previously described HPLC methodology, and had no significant matrix effect. The proposed ASE-SPE-LC-ESI-MS/MS method is sensitive and reliable for the determination of ultra-trace organic acids in plant samples, despite the presence of the particularly complex matrix.