Fast Analysis of Cosmetic Allergens Using UltraPerformance Convergence Chromatography (UPC2) with MS Detection

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Jane Cooper, Michael Jones, and Stéphane Dubant
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Application Notes
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Application Notes
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In the EU Cosmetic Regulations (1223/2009),  there are ‘currently’ 26 fragrance ingredients, 24 volatile chemicals, and two natural extracts (oak moss and tree moss), that are considered more likely to cause reactions in susceptible people. These 26 fragrance ingredients must be indicated in the list of ingredients of the final product, if the concentration exceeds 0.001% (10 mg/kg) in leave-on products, e.g. moisturizers, or 0.01% (100 mg/kg) in rinse-off products, e.g shampoos. Listing the regulated allergens on products can help identify the cause of an allergic reaction and also aids people to make informed choices about what they buy, particularly if they have a diagnosed allergy to a specific fragrance ingredient.

Current analytical methods used for the analysis of cosmetic allergens include Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS), Headspace-GC-MS, GC-GC/MS, Liquid Chromatography-UV (LC-UV), and LC-MS, which all have run times of approximately 30 to 40 minutes.

There are many challenges that need to be addressed for any method used for allergen analysis. For example, the resolution achieved between analyte, isomer, and matrix components all need to be optimized, and the sensitivity of the method should be at least 1 ppm (greater preferred).

Convergence Chromatography (CC) is a separation technique that uses carbon dioxide as the primary mobile phase, with the option if required to use an additional co-solvent such as acetonitrile or methanol to give similar selectivity as normal phase LC.

This application note will consider how hyphenating UltraPerformance Convergence Chromatography (UPC2) with MS detection can be used to achieve specificity, selectivity, and sensitivity for the analysis of fragrance allergens in perfume, cosmetics, and personal care products in a fast 7-minute run. UPC is an ideal alternative to both HPLC and GC analysis, providing:

  • Ability to run LC and GC amenable compounds in a single analysis.
  • Greater selectivity and specificity compared to either HPLC or GC analysis alone. 
  • more than six times faster analysis times than existing HPLC and GC methods
  • 95% less solvent usage than existing HPLC methods.

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