Recent findings of undeclared horse meat in beef products in Europe prompted an urgent requirement for industry and regulatory authorities to analyze meat and meat products for the presence of horse tissue and residues of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) phenylbutazone (PBZ). PBZ is a veterinary medicine that is not permitted for use in the treatment of animals destined for the human food chain.
In this technology brief, low levels of phenylbutazone - below the EU recommended concentration of 5 µg/kg - are detected and quantified in muscle tissue using ultra-sensitive UPLC/MS/MS.
The Waters ACQUITY UPLC I-Class System, using ACQUITY UPLC HSS T3 column chemistry and coupled with the Xevo TQ-S triple quadrupole mass spectrometer, enabled the analysis of phenylbutazone at 10 ng/kg.
Use of this UPLC/MS/MS method at such low detection limits ensures the detection of contaminated food products, even when considering mixed and processed meat products.
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