Quantitative determination of semivolatile organic compounds in solution using trap-and-release membrane inlet mass spectrometry

Frants Lauritsen, Raimo Ketola

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54 Citations (Scopus)


This paper discusses the use of trap-and-release membrane inlet mass spectrometry (T&R-MIMS) for the quantitative determination of semivolatile organic compounds in real samples. We found that the T&R-MIMS technique is particular sensitive to relatively polar, semivolatile organic compounds. For example, the detection limits for the acids acetylsalicylic acid and phenoxyacetic acid were lowered by a factor of 100 as compared with those possible with standard MIMS, and caffeine was detectable only with the T&R-MIMS method. The detection limits were in the parts-per-billion range, and the dynamic range was 3 orders of magnitude. As a practical example of the application of the T&R-MIMS technique, we used it for the quantitative analysis of caffeine in ground coffee and tea leaves. Good agreement between T&R-MIMS and HPLC determinations was found, and the reproducibility of the whole analytical system for caffeine determination (extraction procedure and T&R-MIMS determination) was within 10% as relative standard deviation. However, for coffee, a large background from the essential oils prevented low-level work, such as the determination of residual caffeine in decaffeinated coffee. Obviously, the analysis of many complex matrixes will require the use of tandem mass spectrometry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4917-4922
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 1997
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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