Multi-residue analysis of tranquillizers in meat: confirmatory assays using mass spectrometry†
A rapid and sensitive multi-residue method was developed to attempt to confirm the presence of the beta-blocker carazolol and the tranquillizers acepromazine, azaperone, chlorpromazine, propionylpromazine and xylazine in pig muscle tissues. The procedure involves determination by liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry. The liquid chromatographic separation was performed on a Symmetry C18 column with gradient elution. A mixture of aqueous buffer, containing 0.01% m/v trifluoroacetic acid (pH 3.5), and acetonitrile at a flow rate of 0.4 ml min–1 was used as the mobile phase. The abundant parent ions [M + H+] produced by positive electrospray ionisation were selected for collisional dissociation with argon. Fragment ions were recorded with daughter ion scan and multiple reaction monitoring. The analytes were identified unambiguously by assessing retention times and diagnostic ions in meat samples spiked from 50 µg kg–1 [maximum residue limit (MRL) for azaperone and azaperol] to 5 µg kg–1 (MRL for carazolol).