Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 403, Issue 10, pp 2883–2889 | Cite as

Rapid analysis of caffeine in various coffee samples employing direct analysis in real-time ionization–high-resolution mass spectrometry

  • Hana Danhelova
  • Jaromir Hradecky
  • Sarka Prinosilova
  • Tomas Cajka
  • Katerina Riddellova
  • Lukas Vaclavik
  • Jana Hajslova
Original Paper


The development and use of a fast method employing a direct analysis in real time (DART) ion source coupled to high-resolution time-of-flight mass spectrometry (TOFMS) for the quantitative analysis of caffeine in various coffee samples has been demonstrated in this study. A simple sample extraction procedure employing hot water was followed by direct, high-throughput (<1 min per run) examination of the extracts spread on a glass rod under optimized conditions of ambient mass spectrometry, without any prior chromatographic separation. For quantification of caffeine using DART-TOFMS, an external calibration was used. Isotopically labeled caffeine was used to compensate for the variations of the ion intensities of caffeine signal. Recoveries of the DART-TOFMS method were 97% for instant coffee at the spiking levels of 20 and 60 mg/g, respectively, while for roasted ground coffee, the obtained values were 106% and 107% at the spiking levels of 10 and 30 mg/g, respectively. The repeatability of the whole analytical procedure (expressed as relative standard deviation, RSD, %) was <5% for all tested spiking levels and matrices. Since the linearity range of the method was relatively narrow (two orders of magnitude), an optimization of sample dilution prior the DART-TOFMS measurement to avoid saturation of the detector was needed.


Ambient mass spectrometry Direct analysis in real time Coffee Caffeine 



This study was financially supported by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic (project numbers MSM6046137305 and MSMT No. 21/2011).


Mention of brand or firm names in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing specific information and does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the Institute of Chemical Technology, Prague.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hana Danhelova
    • 1
  • Jaromir Hradecky
    • 1
  • Sarka Prinosilova
    • 1
  • Tomas Cajka
    • 1
  • Katerina Riddellova
    • 1
  • Lukas Vaclavik
    • 1
  • Jana Hajslova
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Food and Biochemical Technology, Department of Food Chemistry and AnalysisInstitute of Chemical Technology, PraguePrague 6Czech Republic

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