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Open Access Determination of β-N-methylamino-L-alanine, N-(2-aminoethyl)glycine, and 2,4-diaminobutyric acid in Food Products Containing Cyanobacteria by Ultra-Performance Liquid Chromatography and Tandem Mass Spectrometry: Single-Laboratory Validation

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A single-laboratory validation study was completed for the determination of β- N -methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA), N -(2-aminoethyl)glycine (AEG), and 2,4-diaminobutyric acid (DAB) in bulk natural health product supplements purchased from a health food store in Canada. BMAA and its isomers were extracted with acid hydrolysis to free analytes from protein association. Acid was removed with the residue evaporated to dryness and reconstituted with derivatization using 6-aminoquinolyl- N - hydroxysuccinimidyl carbamate (AccQ-Fluor). Chromatographic separation and detection were achieved using RP ultra-performance LC coupled to a tandem mass spectrometer operated in multiple reaction monitoring mode. Data from biological samples were evaluated for precision and accuracy across different days to ensure repeatability. Accuracy was assessed by spike recovery of biological samples using varying amino acid concentrations, with an average recovery across all samples of 108.6%. The analytical range was found to be 764–0.746 ng/mL prior to derivatization, thereby providing a linear range compatible with potentially widely varying analyte concentrations in commercial health food products. Both the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U. S. Pharmacopeia definitions were evaluated for determining method limits, with the FDA approach found to be most suitable having an LOD of 0.187 ng/mL and LLOQ of 0.746 ng/mL. BMAA in the collected specimens was detected at concentrations lower than 1 μg/g, while AEG and DAB were found at concentrations as high as 100 μg/g. Finding these analytes, even at low concentrations, has potential public health significance and suggests a need to screen such products prior to distribution. The method described provides a rapid, accurate, and precise method to facilitate that screening process.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, V1V 1V7 2: British Columbia Institute of Technology, 3700 Willingdon Ave, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, V5G 3H2

Publication date: 2015-11-01

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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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