Development and validation of a method for determination of corticosteroids in pig fat using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry

Ádám Tölgyesi, Virender K. Sharma, Jeno Fekete

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23 Citations (Scopus)


A new method was developed to determine five corticosteroids (prednisolone, methylprednisone, flumethasone, dexamethasone, and methylprednisolone) in pig fat samples by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) utilizing an optimized liquid-liquid extraction (LLE) and subsequent solid-phase extraction (SPE) for sample clean-up. In the sample preparation, a pig fat sample was dissolved in n-hexane and then extracted into the methanol-water (50/50, v/v) mixture that enabled extraction of only medium polar corticosteroids and not the non-polar components of matrices. This extract was cleaned-up and concentrated on polymeric Oasis HLB SPE cartridge. Separation involved isocratic solvent (methanol-acetate buffer, pH 5.4) and Ascentis Express Fused-Core type HLPC column; reduced the analysis time to 7.5. min, which is at least two times lower than time required for separation using conventional techniques. Other advantage of the developed method is the minimized ion suppression of LC-MS/MS analysis, which allowed detection of corticosteroids in sub μg/kg. Method was validated according to European Union (EU) Commission Decision 2002/657/EC. Measured parameters such as selectivity, linearity, recovery, within-laboratory reproducibility, decision limit, and detection capability satisfied the EU Directive. Ranges of mean recoveries and within-laboratory reproducibility were 81-100% and 8.0-20.5%, respectively. Decision limits were calculated in the range from 4.5 to 11.9. μg/kg for MRL compounds and varied from 0.1 to 0.2. μg/kg for banned substances. Limit of detections (LODs), calculated as three time signal-to-noise ratio, were in the range of 0.1-0.3. μg/kg.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-410
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Chromatography B: Analytical Technologies in the Biomedical and Life Sciences
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - Feb 15 2011



  • Corticosteroid
  • Fat
  • Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry
  • Optimization
  • Validation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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