Orbitrap Illustration

Unknown Screening

Ensuring the safety of the world’s food supply is of utmost importance. Screening foodstuffs for known and unknown contaminants, such as pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, and adulterated food, must be quick and simple, but identifying these contaminants is a challenging experiment.  Analysis by mass spectrometry with high resolution and accurate mass is ideally suited for food sample screening and quantification of hundreds to thousands of contaminants in a single analysis. Orbitrap™-based mass spectrometers provide high-resolution, accurate-mass (HR/AM) capabilities with fast scanning speeds required to deliver results quickly to quarantine contaminated food and ensure only safe food is brought to the market.

For additional resources, search the Orbitrap Science Library

Workflow Overview for Unknown Screening of Food Contaminants

For the screening of unknown contaminants in food, the main goal is to identify as many contaminates present in a single sample.  Typically, this workflow is very complex because there is no target list to use and other instrumentation and software are required.  In a typical workflow, samples are collected, arrive at the lab, and are logged into a database, processed, and extracted using a simple, easy method.  Finally, the samples are analyzed on the mass spectrometer, data is scrutinized using automated software, and the data is checked against a larger external database and further confirmed.



Rapid control of Chinese star anise fruits and teas for neurotoxic anisatin by Direct Analysis in Real Time high resolution mass spectrometry

Shen Y, van Beek TA, et al.
J Chromatogr A. 2012 Oct 12;1259:179-86.

Evaluating a direct swabbing method for screening pesticides on fruit and vegetable surfaces using direct analysis in real time (DART) coupled to an Exactive benchtop orbitrap mass spectrometer

Crawford E, Musselman B.
Anal Bioanal Chem. 2012 Jul;403(10):2807-12.

Evaluation of a rapid screening method for chemical contaminants of concern in four food-related matrices using QuEChERS extraction, UHPLC and high resolution mass spectrometry

Filigenzi MS, Ehrke N, et al.
Food Addit Contam Part A Chem Anal Control Expo Risk Assess. 2011 Oct;28(10):1324-39.