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Food additives & contaminants. Part A, Chemistry, analysis, control, exposure & risk assessment

Quantification of pyrrolizidine alkaloids in North American plants and honey by LC-MS: single laboratory validation.


PMID 26482059

Abstract

Pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) are a class of naturally occurring compounds produced by many flowering plants around the World. Their presence as contaminants in food systems has become a significant concern in recent years. For example, PAs are often found as contaminants in honey through pollen transfer. A validated method was developed for the quantification of four pyrrolizidine alkaloids and one pyrrolizidine alkaloid N-oxide in plants and honey grown and produced in British Columbia. The method was optimised for extraction efficiency from the plant materials and then subjected to a single-laboratory validation to assess repeatability, accuracy, selectivity, LOD, LOQ and method linearity. The PA content in plants ranged from1.0 to 307.8 µg/g with repeatability precision between 3.8 and 20.8% RSD. HorRat values were within acceptable limits and ranged from 0.62 to 1.63 for plant material and 0.56-1.82 for honey samples. Method accuracy was determined through spike studies with recoveries ranging from 84.6 to 108.2% from the raw material negative control and from 82.1-106.0 % for the pyrrolizidine alkaloids in corn syrup. Based on the findings in this single-laboratory validation, this method is suitable for the quantitation of lycopsamine, senecionine, senecionine N-oxide, heliosupine and echimidine in common comfrey (Symphytum officinale), tansy ragwort (Senecio jacobaea), blueweed (Echium vulgare) and hound's tongue (Cynoglossum officinale) and for PA quantitation in honey and found that PA contaminants were present at low levels in BC honey.

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