Sensitive and fast determination of Sudan dyes in chili powder by partial-filling micellar electrokinetic chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.

PMID 22451064


A fast and sensitive method for the simultaneous determination of Sudan dyes (I, II, III, and IV) in food samples was developed for the first time using partial filling micellar electrokinectic chromatography-mass spectrometry (MEKC-MS). The use of MEKC was essential to achieve the separation of these neutral analytes, while the partial filling technique was necessary to avoid the contamination of the ion source with non-volatile micelles. MEKC separation and MS detection conditions were optimized in order to achieve a fast, efficient, and sensitive separation of the four dyes. Filling 25% of the capillary with an MEKC solution containing 40 mM ammonium bicarbonate, 25 mM SDS, and 32.5% (v/v) acetonitrile, a baseline separation of the four azo-dyes was obtained in 10 min. Tandem MS was investigated in order to improve the sensitivity and selectivity of the analysis. Limits of detection (LOD) values 5, 8, 15, and 29 times better were obtained for Sudan III, I, II, and IV, respectively, using partial filling MEKC-MS/MS instead of partial filling MEKC-MS. Under optimized conditions, LOD from 0.05 to 0.2 μg/mL were obtained. The suitability of the developed method was demonstrated through the fast and sensitive determination of Sudan I, II, III, and IV in spiked chilli powder samples. This determination could not be achieved by MEKC-UV due to the existence of several interfering compounds from the matrix.

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