Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry

UPLC-Q-TOF-MS analysis of non-volatile migrants from new active packaging materials.

PMID 22836481


Ultra-performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) coupled to mass spectrometry (MS) is a useful tool in the analysis of non-volatile compounds, and the use of a quadrupole-time-of-flight (Q-TOF) mass analyzer allows a high sensitivity and accuracy when acquiring full fragment mode, providing a high assurance of correct identification of unknown compounds. In this work, UPLC-Q-TOF-MS technology has been applied to the analysis of non-volatile migrants from new active packaging materials. The materials tested were based on polypropylene (PP), ethylene-vinyl alcohol copolymer (EVOH), and poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET). The active packaging materials studied were one PP film containing a natural antioxidant, and two PP/EVOH films, two PET/EVOH films and one coextruded PP/EVOH/PP film containing natural antimicrobials. The chemical structure of several compounds was unequivocally identified. The analysis revealed the migration of some of the active substances used in the manufacture of active packaging, such as caffeine (0.07 ± 0.01 μg/g), carvacrol (0.31 ± 0.03 μg/g) and citral (0.20 ± 0.01 μg/g). Unintentionally added substances were also found, such as citral reaction compounds, or citral impurities present in the raw materials.

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Poly(vinyl alcohol-co-ethylene), ethylene 32 mol %