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Development of an LC-MS/MS method for studying migration characteristics of acetaldehyde in polyethylene terephthalate (PET)-packed mineral water Part A Chemistry, analysis, control, exposure & risk assessment

Baumjohann, Nina, Harms, Diedrich
Food additives & contaminants 2015 v.32 no.9 pp. 1552-1560
acetaldehyde, bottles, derivatization, mineral content, mineral water, monitoring, off flavors, polyethylene terephthalates, tandem mass spectrometry, Germany
During storage, acetaldehyde migration from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles can affect the quality of mineral water even in the low µg l ⁻¹ range negatively, as it features a fruity or plastic-like off-flavour. For a sensitive and fast analysis of acetaldehyde in mineral water, a new analysis method of 2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazine (DNPH) derivatisation followed by HPLC-electrospray tandem mass spectrometry (ESI-MS/MS) was developed. Acetaldehyde was directly derivatised in the mineral water sample avoiding extraction and/or pre-concentration steps and then analysed by reversed-phase HPLC-ESI-MS/MS using multiple reaction monitoring mode (MRM). Along with method development, the optimum molar excess of DNPH in contrast to acetaldehyde was studied for the mineral water matrix, because no specific and robust data were yet available for this critical parameter. Best results were obtained by using a calibration via the derivatisation reaction. Without any analyte enrichment or extraction, an LOD of 0.5 µg l ⁻¹ and an LOQ of 1.9 µg l ⁻¹ were achieved. Using the developed method, mineral water samples packed in PET bottles from Germany were analysed and the correlation between the acetaldehyde concentration and other characteristics of the samples was evaluated illustrating the applicability of the method. Besides a relationship between bottle size and CO ₂ content of the mineral water and acetaldehyde migration, a correlation with acetaldehyde migration and the material composition of the bottle, e.g. recycled PET, was noted. Investigating the light influence on the acetaldehyde migration with a newly developed, reproducible light exposure setup, a significant increase of the acetaldehyde concentration in carbonated mineral water samples was observed.