Analysis of 10 β-Agonists in Pork Meat using Automated Dispersive Pipette XTRaction and LC-MS/MS

Automation Compatibility: Hamilton

β-Adrenergic agonists are synthetic phenylethanolamine compounds used as bronchodilators and tocolytic agents. While these compounds have medicinal uses in the veterinary field, they are often misused as growth promoters in cattle, swine and other farm animals. In many countries, including European Union countries and China, these drugs have been banned due to their adverse effects on humans, such as food poisoning, cardiovascular and central nervous system diseases. Regulations have either not set a maximum residue limit or have a zero-tolerance level for these compounds. Consequently, highly sensitive analyses are essential to support the enforcement of laws and regulations focusing on the detection and identification of these residues in animals via their biological matrices, animal products, feed and drinking water. Of all these samples, meat is a main source of consumer exposure to β-adrenergic agonists. Meat matrices contain lower concentrations of β-agonists compared to animal body fluid and excretion as a result of bioavailability. Pork is the most widely eaten meat accounting for over 36% of the world meat intake. Therefore, sensitive methods for the analysis of β-adrenergic agonists in pork is a main focus in European and Chinese laboratories including industry, import regulation, and local quality control agencies.

LC–MS/MS methods often require a time-consuming and complicated sample pretreatment procedure to eliminate matrix effects. Consequently, laboratories are increasingly interested in developing new analytical methods that are more rapid and enable higher sample throughput. QuEChERS and SPE cartridges sample preparation methods face various disadvantages, such as large sample and solvent consumption, labor intensive steps and time consuming procedures, etc.

Dispersive Pipette XTRaction is a patented technology that introduces the benefits of solid phase extraction in a simple to use pipette tip. Loose sorbent material is contained within a tip and the extraction occurs through aspirate and dispense steps. Tips contain a disperser which forces turbulent mixing between the sorbent and sample solution. This mixing results in increased extraction efficiencies. The purpose of this study was to develop a rapid multi- residue method that minimizes sample volume using automated Dispersive Pipette XTRaction to obtain sensitive quantitation of 10 β-agonists (cimaterol, terbutaline, salbutamol, isoxsuprine, ractopamine, cimbuterol, clenbuterol, brombuterol, mabuterol and mapenterol) in pork meat using LC-MS/MS analysis.

Add ACN vortex/centrifuge
Evaporate supernatant
ConditionAspirate and dispense 100% MeOH
Aspirate and dispense 100% H2O
BindAspirate and dispense sample solution 4x
WashAspirate and dispense 100% H2O
Aspirate and dispense 1% FA H2O
Aspirate and dispense 100% MeOH
EluteAspirate and dispense 5% NH4OH MeOH
XTR 300 μL - Hamilton CO-RE tips

XTR Tips for Hamilton

XTR tips with Strong Cation Exchange (SCX) sorbent were used in this method.

Tip Format Options:

  • Hamilton CO-RE Technology – 300 μL and 1 mL


Read Journal of Chromatography Publication