Quantitative carbon detector for enhanced detection of molecules in foods, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, flavors, and fuels
Analysis of trace compounds, such as pesticides and other contaminants, within consumer products, fuels, and the environment requires quantification of increasingly complex mixtures of difficult-to-quantify compounds. Many compounds of interest are non-volatile and exhibit poor response in current gas chromatography and flame ionization systems. Here we show the reaction of trimethylsilylated chemical analytes to methane using a quantitative carbon detector (QCD; the Polyarc™ reactor) within a gas chromatograph (GC), thereby enabling enhanced detection (up to 10×) of highly functionalized compounds including carbohydrates, acids, drugs, flavorants, and pesticides. Analysis of a complex mixture of compounds shows that the GC-QCD method exhibits faster and more accurate analysis of complex mixtures commonly encountered in everyday products and the environment.