Food Analytical Methods

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 354–362 | Cite as

Simultaneous Determination of Eight Tranquilizers in Pork by Ultra-Performance Liquid Chromatography Coupled with Electrospray Tandem Mass Spectrometry

  • Liqun Zhang
  • Pinggu Wu
  • Quan Jin
  • Haipeng Ye
  • Xihui Huang
  • Shaoying Liu


An ultra-performance liquid chromatography/electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-ESI-MS/MS) method was developed and validated for quantification of eight tranquillizers (chlorpromazine, imipramine hydrochloride, diazepam, nitrazepam, nordazepam, oxazepam, flurazepam, and haloperidol) in pork. Sample pretreatment consisted of extraction by acetonitrile, defatted by n-hexane, and further solid phase extraction by hydrophilic-lipophilic balance (HLB) extraction cartridges. The triple quadrupole mass spectrometer was operated in positive ion mode, and multiple reaction monitoring was used for drug quantification. The method was validated over the concentration ranges of 1.0 ∼ 250 μg kg−1 for the eight tranquillizers. The calibrations were performed in sample matrices, and the interference effect of sample matrices on the ionization was effectively eliminated. Good linear relationship (R 2 > 0.99) was observed within the concentration range of 1.0–250 μg kg−1. The average recoveries of the eight tranquillizers spiked at three levels ranged from 63.7 to103.2 % with the relative standard deviation below 11.8 %. The limits of detection were between 0.06 and 0.30 μg kg−1, and the limits of quantification were between 0.2 and1.0 μg kg−1 for all analytes in pork. This validated method has been successfully used to quantify the concentration of the eight tranquillizers in pork samples.


Tranquilizers Solid phase extraction Matrix effect LC-MS-MS 


Compliance with Ethical Standards


This research was supported by the Hangzhou Foundation for Development of Science and Technology (No. 20110833B35).

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed Consent

Not applicable.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Liqun Zhang
    • 1
  • Pinggu Wu
    • 2
  • Quan Jin
    • 1
  • Haipeng Ye
    • 3
  • Xihui Huang
    • 1
  • Shaoying Liu
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Disease Control and Prevention of HangzhouHangzhouChina
  2. 2.Center for Disease Control and Prevention of Zhejiang ProvinceHangzhouChina
  3. 3.Hangzhou Hospital for the Prevention and Treatment of Occupational DiseasesHangzhouChina

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