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Determination of Ephedrine Alkaloids in Dietary Supplements and Botanicals by Liquid Chromatography/Tandem Mass Spectrometry: Collaborative Study

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An interlaboratory study was conducted to evaluate the accuracy and precision of a method for ephedrine-type alkaloids [i.e., norephedrine (NE), norpseudoephedrine (NPE), ephedrine (E), pseudoephedrine (PE), methylephedrine (ME), and methylpseudoephedrine (MPE)] in dietary supplements and botanicals. The amount of ephedrine-type alkaloids present was determined using liquid chromatography with tandem mass selective detection. The samples were diluted to reflect a concentration of 0.0200 to 1.00 μg/mL for each alkaloid. An internal standard was added and the alkaloids were separated using a 5 μm phenyl LC column with an ammonium acetate, glacial acetic acid, acetonitrile, and water mobile phase. Eight blind duplicates of dietary supplements or botanicals were analyzed by 10 collaborators. Included was a negative control, ephedra nevadensis, and negative controls fortified at 2 different levels with each of the 6 ephedrine-type alkaloids. The spike levels were approximately 100 and 1000 μg/g for NE, 100 and 600 μg/g for NPE, 6500 and 65 000 μg/g for E, 1000 and 10 000 μg/g for PE, 300 and 3000 μg/g for ME, and 100 and 1000 μg/g for MPE. On the basis of the accuracy and precision results for this interlaboratory study, it is recommended that this method be adopted Official First Action for the determination of 6 different individual ephedrine-type alkaloids in dietary supplements and botanicals.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Covance Laboratories, 3301 Kinsman Blvd, Madison, WI 53704

Publication date: 2003-07-01

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  • The Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL publishes refereed papers and reviews in the fields of chemical, biological and toxicological analytical chemistry for the purpose of showcasing the most precise, accurate and sensitive methods for analysis of foods, food additives, supplements and contaminants, cosmetics, drugs, toxins, hazardous substances, pesticides, feeds, fertilizers and the environment available at that point in time. The scope of the Journal includes unpublished original research describing new analytical methods, techniques and applications; improved approaches to sampling, both in the field and the laboratory; better methods of preparing samples for analysis; collaborative studies substantiating the performance of a given method; statistical techniques for evaluating data. The Journal will also publish other articles of general interest to its audience, e.g., technical communications; cautionary notes; comments on techniques, apparatus, and reagents.
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