• Chromatography Techniques used in Shellfish Analysis

GC-MS

Chromatography Techniques used in Shellfish Analysis

Aug 14 2023

Analysing shellfish using chromatography for food safety, quality control, and regulatory compliance. Shellfish, including molluscs and crustaceans, are widely consumed and can be susceptible to accumulating harmful compounds, such as heavy metals, pesticides, and toxins produced by harmful algal blooms. To follow are examples of Chromatography techniques that are used in identifying and quantifying these contaminants.

High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) is a cornerstone in shellfish analysis, offering separation and quantification of a wide range of compounds. Through various modes like reversed-phase or ion-exchange chromatography, HPLC can detect contaminants at trace levels. This is crucial because even minute amounts of pollutants can accumulate over time and pose risks to consumers.

Gas chromatography (GC) is particularly adept at analysing volatile organic compounds, such as certain pesticides or aromatic compounds found in shellfish. By coupling GC with mass spectrometry (GC-MS), researchers can identify compounds with exceptional accuracy, aiding in the identification of potential pollutants and allergens.

Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) combines the separation capabilities of chromatography with the identification prowess of mass spectrometry. This technique is well-suited for detecting a broad spectrum of contaminants, including marine biotoxins produced by harmful algal blooms. These toxins can cause serious health issues if consumed, and LC-MS enables rapid and reliable identification, allowing authorities to make informed decisions about shellfish harvesting.

Shellfish are also vulnerable to accumulating heavy metals like mercury and cadmium from their aquatic environment. Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) is commonly employed to quantify trace elements in shellfish tissues. This method can provide accurate measurements of metal concentrations, helping regulators establish safe consumption levels.

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