Food Analytical Methods

, Volume 10, Issue 10, pp 3385–3397 | Cite as

Determination of Antibiotic Residues in Honey by High-Performance Liquid Chromatography with Electronspray Ionization Tandem Mass Spectrometry

  • Artemis P. LouppisEmail author
  • Michael G. Kontominas
  • Chara Papastephanou


The aim of the present study was to develop a rapid and simple method for the detection and quantification of antibiotic and antibacterial residues in honey using liquid chromatography with electronspray ionization tandem mass spectrometry. Two different extraction methods were used. The first method uses water and 1% formic acid in acetonitrile for the determination of sulfonamides while the second uses phosphate buffer, 10% trichloroacetic acid, and acetonitrile as the extracting solvent for the determination of tetracyclines, amphenicols, fluoroquinolones, penicillin g, trimethoprim, and tiamulin. The multi-residue method was validated in a thyme honey matrix. Thirty-six different antibiotics and residues from four different families (sulfonamides, tetracyclines, amphenicols, fluoroquinolones) and some individual antibiotics (penicillin g, trimethoprim, and tiamulin) were tested in 20 honey samples originating from Cyprus and Greece. The decision limits (CCα) were from 0.1 to 9.2 μg kg−1; the detection capabilities (CCβ) were from 0.3 to 27.6 μg kg−1 while recoveries were from to be between 65.0 and 116.1%. The method was successfully applied to commercial samples from different types of honey from Greece and Cyprus. Among them, oxolonic acid, sulfathiazole, and sulfadimethoxine were found in three honey samples. Finally, proficiency testing was applied to the proposed method while analysis of certified samples showed good method performance characteristics.


Antibiotics Multi-residue analysis Honey LC-MS/MS Determination 


Compliance with Ethical Standards


Not applicable.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed Consent

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


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Artemis P. Louppis
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Michael G. Kontominas
    • 2
  • Chara Papastephanou
    • 1
  1. 1.cp Foodlab ltdStrovolosCyprus
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryUniversity of IoanninaIoanninaGreece

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