Detection of contaminants in feed by gas chromatography with full scan high resolution mass spectrometry (GC-HRMS)

The analysis of animal feed and feed ingredients is important to ensure feed safety, the safety of animal products for the consumer, and compliance with EU legislation. Feed materials are highly divers and consequently a large number and large variety of residues and contaminants need to be included in the scope of analysis. Analytes of interest include (persistent) pesticides, PCBs, PAHs and flame retardants.

For these analytes gas chromatography combined with tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS) is the current gold standard. With this technique the number of analytes that can be detected in one measurement is limited. Recently introduced new technology, GC coupled to Orbitrap high resolution MS, does not have this limitation and in addition allows retrospective detection of analytes that were not of interest at the time of analysis.

The aim of the internship project is to develop a method that allows quantitative determination of regulated contaminants and a qualitative screening for unexpected/emerging contaminants by GC-HRMS.

Contact: Hans Mol:
Cluster: Natural Toxins & Pesticides (NTP)
Date: 2016

Tasks, techniques, and activities

  • Brief literature review
  • Selection/testing of most suitable sample preparation technique
  • Optimization of injection and chromatographic conditions
  • Selection/testing of Orbitrap-MS acquisition parameters
  • Data handling using dedicated (proprietary) software
  • Quantitative and qualitative validation of the method
  • Comparison with existing GC-MS/MS method
  • Report and presentation of the results obtained (EN or NL)

What we are asking

  • Enthusiastic student with a background in analytical chemistry (BSc, MSc)
  • Basic knowledge of chromatography and mass spectrometry
  • Availability for a period of at least five months

What we offer

  • Expert guidance during the internship in a state-of-the art food/feed safety laboratory.