Mass Spectrometry is used in all aspects of the food chain, from QC of raw materials such as basic ingredients and packaging integrity. In product development, mass spectrometry can be used to profile products, make competitive analyses. Food safety analyses may be looking to detect contaminants and spoilage whether these may be deliberate or naturally occuring, obtaining results in a few seconds with little or no sample preparation is the main advantage of DART. See the latest handbook of publications of DART for food analysis here.
In food spoilage or deliberate contamination scenarios, the rapid identification of potentially harmful pathogens in food products is key to the safeguarding of the food chain. MassTech Inc. have developed a field deployable ion-trap mass spectrometer which, when coupled with atmospheric pressure MALDI, can rapidly identify pathogens without the need for overnight culture in a lab. See the applications note Rapid identification of microorganisms using AP-MALDI ion-trap mass spectrometry here.
The quality of wine can be affected by the presence of some compounds which are present at very low concentrations. The analytical challenge is to identify these compounds in a complex matrix. This paper presented as ASMS by my colleague Elizabeth Crawford shows how DART and Twister stir bars can be used to concentrate the compounds of interest and analyse them in the shortest time possible. A comparison of the current method of GC-MS is included, showing how DART can reduce the analysis time.
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