Consumption of shellfish contaminated with biotoxins can cause severe intoxications in humans, such as diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP). Due to their lipophilic properties, DSP toxins are often classified as lipophilic marine biotoxins. The complexity of the lipophilic marine biotoxins lies in the variety of physiochemical properties, such as carboxylic acids, sulfonic acids, and amino and imino functionalities.
Since July 2011, the official EU method for control of shellfish for the presence of lipophilic marine biotoxins has been LC/MS/MS, although the traditional ‘mouse bioassay’ method is still used in many parts of the world. The EU reference LC/MS/MS method is based on a fixed extraction procedure followed by separation using conventional LC separation, with either an acidic mobile phase or alkaline mobile phase and detection by tandem quadrupole MS.
This presentation will describe a rapid, robust UPLC/MS/MS method for the analysis of both regulated and non-regulated lipophilic marine biotoxins in shellfish. Compared to conventional HPLC/MS/MS, the speed of analysis increased 4-fold, from 20 min to 5 min per analysis.