RapidFire Mass Spectrometry with Enhanced Throughput as an Alternative to Liquid-Liquid Salt Assisted Extraction and LC/MS Analysis for Sulfonamides in Honey

Anal Chem. 2017 Mar 21;89(6):3256-3260. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.6b04889. Epub 2017 Mar 2.


The use of veterinary drugs in honey bees for the prevention of infectious disease is ever increasing due to the spread of colony collapse disorder around the world. The United States Food and Drug Administration is concerned about the presence of these drugs residues in honey as they often lead to health concerns or potential antibiotic resistance. Currently there is a need for a rapid screening method for the detection of veterinary drugs in honey. Herein is a method that utilizes automated solid-phase extraction that is directly coupled to a mass spectrometer for the quantitative screening of 12 different regulated sulfonamides in honey. Identification of the residues was performed using tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) with a triple quadrupole mass spectrometer. The acquisition method developed for this analysis can extract with the automated solid-phase extraction system and analyze a single sample on the mass spectrometer in approximately 20 s, with minimal sample preparation. A target testing limit of 10 ng/g in honey for the sulfonamides was used based upon action limits set for other food commodities regulated by the United States Food and Drug Administration. A complete method validation procedure was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of this quantitative screening method.