The term dioxins refers to a group of chemically similar congeners, polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), known to persist in the environment and pose significant toxicological concern. Therefore, they are well regulated and testing is enforced globally.
Testing has been traditionally performed by GC-EI-HRMS. However, recent technological advances have allowed for a revision of the analytical criteria. Following extensive review, the European Commission has enacted Regulation 589/2014, which permits the use of GC-MS/MS for the confirmatory analysis of dioxins in food and feed.
In this application note, we summarize a comprehensive study completed by van Bavel, et al. that demonstrates the capabilities of Waters' Atmospheric Pressure Gas Chromatography (APGC), coupled with Xevo TQ-S for the determination of dioxins in a variety of complex sample matrices. The performance of APGC was compared to samples previously characterized by GC-HRMS. Finally, system robustness was investigated by an inter-laboratory comparison trial using four different Xevo TQ-S systems with APGC.
The authors conclude that the use of APGC in combination with the Xevo TQ-S for the analysis of dioxins has the same potential, in terms of sensitivity and selectivity, as the traditional HRMS instrumentation, and that it is compliant with Regulation 589/2014/EU. The APGC-MS/MS benchtop system, however, is far easier to use, maintain, and it can be quickly converted for liquid chromatography analysis.