Typically, fatty acid analysis is performed using GC-FID instrumentation, requiring sample derivatization to the methyl or ethyl ester forms prior to analysis. The derivatization process takes approximately 35 minutes, and the GC method takes close to an hour.
Direct Analysis in Real Time (DART) is an ambient ionization technique that allows the sample analysis to be performed in minutes. DART analysis benefits from the elimination of the need for time-consuming sample preparation and chromatography, making the analyses very rapid. Samples can be deposited on a screen that is moved through a heated ionizing helium beam in an automated fashion. Resulting ions are typically of the [M+H]+ or [M-H]- nature. Coupling DART to the ACQUITY QDa Detector allows the entire system to remain compact and easy to operate. This enables the DART-MS system to be operated outside a typical laboratory space if desired to generate mass spectral information.
In this application note, we demonstrate the utility and ease-of-use of DART coupled to single quadrupole mass detection for the identification and rapid authentication of omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids in oil supplements.