Pushing the Boundaries of Monochloropropane-diol Esters Contaminant Analysis with the IMS-TOF

Benefits of Ion Mobility for Analysing Monochloropropane-diol Esters

Michael Grössl, TOFWERK, Switzerland
Kornél Nagy, Nestle Research Center, Switzerland

Food Additives & Contaminants: Part A, 2017. DOI:10.1080/19440049.2017.1325014

This paper reports the first application and benefits of ion mobility in combination with liquid chromatography and a transportable time-of-flight mass spectrometer (TOFWERK IMS-TOF) to the analysis of monochloropropane-diol esters (MCPDE) in vegetable oils. The additional selectivity obtained with the ion mobility allowed the quantitative analysis of MCPDEs as such in their intact form (direct analysis) without any chemical derivatisation and, furthermore, without any enrichment or purification step. This gain in selectivity manifests primarily in the resolution of interferences originating, for example, from the diacylglycerol components of palm oil. In silico calculations confirm that resolution of such interferences would require mass resolutions higher than 200,000 at m/z 600, e.g., in the case of signals of the 41K isotope of the PO DAG and the signals of the sodiated PO MCPD. While such resolution can be obtained on certain state-of-the-art costly and laboratory-exhaustive research instruments, this study demonstrates that even transportable time-of-flight MS can achieve the required selectivity when combined with ion mobility. Further advantage of the described approach is that the applied sample preparation is only dilution with minimum consumable requirements and can be performed quickly even outside laboratories directly in the field. The described results suggest that the application of ion mobility in addition to LC-MS is likely to push the boundaries of contaminant analysis especially for high-throughput screening investigations.