Mass spectrometry approaches to ensure food safety
Mass spectrometry (MS) is widely used in the food safety area, being fully implemented in both routine analysis and research laboratories. Indeed, MS is considered an essential tool for the monitoring of food contamination. Continuous improvements in the instrumentation resulted in a breakthrough in analytical chemistry and consequently in food sciences. The advances in MS enabled the development of reliable, reproducible and robust new methodologies allowing for rapid and accurate screening analysis. The present review compiles the latest advances (2015–2019) in MS aimed at the monitoring of, among others, microbiological contamination and pesticide and veterinary drug residues in food. Different MS techniques are discussed including matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS), hyphenated techniques, ion mobility spectrometry-MS (IMS-MS) and ambient mass spectrometry (AMS) in addition to high resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS), whose implementation was a step forward in food safety since it allows for performing retrospective analysis.