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Food Analysis pp 457-470 | Cite as

Mass Spectrometry

  • J. Scott Smith
  • Rohan A. Thakur
Chapter
Part of the Food Analysis book series (FSTS)

Abstract

Mass spectrometry (MS) is unique among the various spectroscopy techniques in both theory and instrumentation. As you may recall, spectroscopy involves the interaction of electromagnetic radiation or some form of energy with molecules. The molecules absorb the radiation and produce a spectrum either during the absorption process or as the excited molecules return to the ground state. MS works by placing a charge on a molecule, thereby converting it to an ion in a process called ionization. The generated ions are then resolved according to their mass-to-charge ratio \((m/z)\) by subjecting them to electrostatic fields (mass analyzer) and finally detected. An additional stage of ion fragmentation may be included before detection to elicit structural information in a technique known as tandem MS. The result of ion generation, separation, fragmentation, and detection is manifested as a mass spectrum that can be interpreted to yield molecular weight or structural information. The uniqueness of this process allows the method to be used for both detection and identification of an unknown compound.

Keywords

Mass Analyzer Atmospheric Pressure Chemical Ionization Quadrupole Mass Analyzer Accelerator Mass Spectrometer Vaporizer Tube 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Resource Materials

26.9 Resource Materials

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    Barker J (1999) Mass spectrometry, 2nd edn. Wiley, New York. One of the best introductory texts on mass spectrometry in its second edition. The author starts at a very basic level and slowly works through all aspects of MS, including ionization, fragmentation patterns, GC–MS, and LC–MS.Google Scholar
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References

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Food Science InstituteKansas State UniversityManhattanUSA
  2. 2.Taylor TechnologyPrincetonUSA

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