Analysis of heterocyclic amines in meat products by liquid chromatography – Tandem mass spectrometry

Shi Han Jian, Pei Jou Yeh, Chung Huang Wang, Hsin Chang Chen, Sung Fang Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Heterocyclic amines (HCAs), a class made up of more than 25 compounds, are unintended hazardous substances that are generated by the heating or processing of proteinaceous foods at high temperatures. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified four such HCAs (IQ, MeIQ, MeIQx, and PhIP) as being probable or possible human carcinogens. In this study, two sample preparation strategies, liquid–liquid extraction (LLE) with solid-phase extraction (SPE) and a rapid, easy, cheap, effective, rugged, and safe extraction (QuEChERS) method, were investigated for the determination of 11 types of HCAs in meat products by LC-MS/MS. The HCAs in the samples were first extracted with acetonitrile by LLE, and followed by SPE. In the case of QuEChERS extraction, acetonitrile is used as the LLME solvent, and PSA, C18EC and MgSO 4 were used as the dSPE sorbent. Both methods showed good performance with respect to precision (RSD < 15.15%), accuracy (79.80–117.64%), recovery (52.39–116.88%), limit of quantitation for a spiked meat extract (0.01–10 ppb) and correlation coefficients (>0.993). The QuEChERS extraction strategy provided a better linear dynamic range and superior sensitivity in comparison with the LLE-SPE approach. HCAs were successfully quantified in real samples using the two proposed approaches by LC-MS/MS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)595-602
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Food and Drug Analysis
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Apr


  • Heterocyclic aromatic amines
  • QuEChERS
  • Quantitation
  • SPE

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Pharmacology


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