Magnetic dispersive solid phase microextraction technique coupled with LC–MS/MS for evaluating content versus label claims in ephedrine-free food supplements

  • Arezou Taghvimi
  • Samin Hamidi
  • Mahboob Nemati
Research Article


Sport supplements and weight management supplements are prime targets for adulteration. In response to concerns regarding the safety of ephedra-containing food supplements, manufacturers have marketed “ephedra-free” products. Therefore, a rapid and convenient magnetic dispersive solid phase microextraction method is proposed in order to extract ephedrine from complex food supplements. Quantification of ephedrine is accomplished by ion-spray LC–MS/MS using multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) mode. The LC–MS/MS method is validated in the range of 5–100 ng/mg. The proposed procedure is applied to the determination of ephedrine in various food supplements. Sixteen food supplements including sport and weight loss supplements are provided from two local drugstores (Tabriz, Iran). The mean content of the ephedrine, identified in five products, amounted to 1055 ng/mg. The proposed method is reliable and fast for determination of ephedrine content in food supplements.


Magnetic dispersive solid phase microextraction Ephedrine Food supplement Adulteration Mass spectroscopy 



This work is part of a project supported by a Grant (60763) from the Food and Drug Safety Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Science, Tabriz, Iran.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Bundesamt für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit (BVL) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arezou Taghvimi
    • 1
    • 3
  • Samin Hamidi
    • 1
  • Mahboob Nemati
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Food and Drug Safety Research CenterTabriz University of Medical ScienceTabrizIran
  2. 2.Department of Drug and Food ControlTabriz University of Medical SciencesTabrizIran
  3. 3.Biotechnology Research CentreTabriz University of Medical SciencesTabrizIran

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