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Identifying Non-Intentionally Added Substances (NIAS) in Food Contact Materials

Identifying Non-Intentionally Added Substances (NIAS) in Food Contact Materials content piece image

Concern about the safety of food products has increased dramatically with intentionally and non-intentionally added substances (NIAS) used in packaging being of particular interest.

Screening analysis is required to identify chemicals that are present in the packaging. This step usually involves an organic solvent extraction and injection via GC coupled to a quadrupole MS equipped with electron ionization (EI) for volatiles/semi-volatiles as 70 eV scientific libraries are commonly available. However, the identification process requires extensive manual interpretation along with prior technical knowledge when the compound is not listed in the library.

Atmospheric Pressure Gas Chromatography (APGC) is a soft ionization technique enabling the generation of the molecular ion. High resolution MS together with the simultaneous MSE acquisition of molecular and fragment ions generates accurate mass measurements and isotopic pattern and sub-structure information that are all useful in determining elemental composition. APGC and high resolution MS together with a workflow driven process was used to identify unknown compounds in packaging.