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Simultaneous Determination of Gamma-Hydroxybutyric Acid (GHB) and Gamma-Butyrolactone (GBL) in Beverages

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A reliable method

For the forensic determination of illegally added GHB and GBL in commonly consumed beverages, this method employs direct-injection ion chromatography combined with spectrophotometric detection. In the range of 10 to 200 mg/L, five-point calibration curves for GHB and GBL yield correlation coefficients of 0.9998 and 0.9997, respectively.

Determination in a single run

Spiking experiments in which GHB and GBL were added to alcoholic beverages and non-alcoholic fruit juices showed no matrix effects. The method allows to trace GHB-GBL interconversion, whether in-vivo or in-vitro lactone cleavage or intramolecular GHB esterification, and thus complies with pertinent requirements of law enforcement agencies.