Development of a sensitive analytical method for determining 44 pyrrolizidine alkaloids in teas and herbal teas via LC-ESI-MS/MS

Florian Kaltner, Benedikt Stiglbauer, Michael Rychlik, Manfred Gareis, Christoph Gottschalk

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelBegutachtung

48 Zitate (Scopus)


Pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA) and PA-N-oxides (PANO) are a large group of secondary plant metabolites comprising more than 660 compounds. Exhibiting geno- and hepatotoxic properties, they are responsible for multiple cases of food and feed poisoning over the last 100 years. For food and feed safety reasons, relevant PA/PANO should be monitored extensively in the main sources of PA/PANO intake. In this study, a sensitive analytical method was developed for detecting a broad range of 44 commercially available PA/PANO compounds, and in-house validation procedures were performed for several (herbal) teas. Various extraction solvents and procedures, as well as solid phase extraction materials for sample clean-up and analyte concentration, were tested to establish the methods’ efficiency and effectiveness. Chromatographic conditions were optimised to obtain the best possible separation of isomers for the 44 PA/PANO analytes. The final method was proven very sensitive and accurate, with detection limits ranging from 0.1 to 7.0 μg/kg and precisions between 0.7 and 16.1%. For 40 of the analytes, the recovery rates ranged from 60.7 to 128.8%. The applicability and trueness of the method were examined by analysing tea samples from a local supermarket and comparing them to a reference material. At least one PA/PANO analyte was detected in 17 of the 18 samples under investigation, and the sum contents of the samples ranged from 0.1 to 47.9 μg/kg. Knowledge of the PA/PANO composition in a sample can be used to indicate the botanical origin of the impurity and, thus, the geographical region of cultivation.

Seiten (von - bis)7233-7249
FachzeitschriftAnalytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 1 Nov. 2019


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