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Mathon C.,Official Food and Veterinary Control Authority of Geneva | Mathon C.,University of Geneva | Edder P.,Official Food and Veterinary Control Authority of Geneva | Christen P.,University of Geneva | Bieri S.,Official Food and Veterinary Control Authority of Geneva
Chimia | Year: 2014

Caffeine acts as a weak psychostimulant and is known to cause trouble with sleeping. Therefore, the presence of caffeine in sleep-aid herbal teas was somewhat surprising, and confirmatory investigations were conducted to exclude any possible misidentification. The botanicals of the sedative mixtures were analysed individually by ultra performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) coupled with a time-of-flight high-resolution mass spectrometer (TOF-HRMS), and caffeine was detected in linden (Tilia spp.) extracts. The presence of caffeine was unambiguously confirmed by means of its characteristic mass spectrum acquired during direct analyses of powdered linden by thermal desorption coupled to a GCxGC-TOF-MS. Caffeine content was determined in 11 linden-based samples, with a validated UPLC-MS/MS method using two mass transitions. Concentrations were between traces and 110 mg kg-1 in the herbal material while those in the corresponding prepared sleep-inducing hot beverages ranged from traces to 226 μg per cup. © Schweizerische Chemische Gesellschaft.


Mathon C.,Official Food and Veterinary Control Authority of Geneva | Mathon C.,University of Geneva | Duret M.,Official Food and Veterinary Control Authority of Geneva | Kohler M.,Official Food and Veterinary Control Authority of Geneva | And 4 more authors.
Food Chemistry | Year: 2013

Safety, quality and composition assessments of food supplements based on botanical ingredients are of major concern, as they have usually not been through a rigorous testing process as required for the approval of therapeutic phytopreparations. Therefore, an efficient multi-targeted method was developed to screen selected botanicals of interest in herbal food supplements. Liquid chromatography coupled with a hybrid triple quadrupole linear ion trap was used for this purpose. Botanicals were characterised by means of appropriate biomarkers, which were unambiguously identified by mass spectrometry using an information dependent acquisition experiment which combined a multiple reaction monitoring survey with dependent enhanced product ion scans. During this procedure, product ion scans of targeted analytes were generated at three collision energies and compared with an in-house library of MS/MS spectra acquired from reference standards of all biomarkers. This generic method enables detection, identification and quantification of 98 biomarkers intended to characterise 79 selected plants. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Mathon C.,University of Geneva | Edder P.,Official Food and Veterinary Control Authority of Geneva | Bieri S.,Official Food and Veterinary Control Authority of Geneva | Christen P.,University of Geneva
Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry | Year: 2014

Pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) are a large class of natural compounds amongst which the esterified 1,2-unsaturated necine base is toxic for humans and livestock. In the present study, a method was developed and validated for the screening and quantification of nine PAs and one PA N-oxide in teas (Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze) and herbal teas (camomile, fennel, linden, mint, rooibos, verbena). Samples were analysed by HPLC on a RP-column, packed with sub-2 μm core-shell particles, and quantified using tandem mass spectrometry operating in the positive electrospray ionisation mode. These PAs and some of their isomers were detected in a majority of the analysed beverages (50/70 samples). In 24 samples, PA concentrations were above the limit of quantification and the sum of the nine targeted PAs was between 0.021 and 0.954 μg per cup of tea. Thus, in some cases, total concentrations exceed the maximum daily intake recommended by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment and the UK’s Committee On Toxicity (i.e. 0.007 μg kg−1bw).[Figure not available: see fulltext.] © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Mathon C.,Official Food and Veterinary Control Authority of Geneva | Mathon C.,University of Geneva | Bongard B.,University of Geneva | Duret M.,Official Food and Veterinary Control Authority of Geneva | And 4 more authors.
Food Additives and Contaminants - Part A Chemistry, Analysis, Control, Exposure and Risk Assessment | Year: 2013

The aim of this work was to develop an analytical method capable of determining the presence of anisatin in star anise. This neurotoxin may induce severe side effects such as epileptic convulsions. It is therefore of prime importance to have rapid and accurate analytical methods able to detect and quantify anisatin in samples that are purportedly edible star anise. The sample preparation combined an automated accelerated solvent extraction with a solid-supported liquid-liquid purification step on EXtrelut®. Samples were analysed on a porous graphitic carbon HPLC column and quantified by tandem mass spectrometry operating in the negative ionisation mode. The quantification range of anisatin was between 0.2 and 8 mg kg-1. The applicability of this validated method was demonstrated by the analysis of several Illicium species and star anise samples purchased on the Swiss market. High levels of anisatin were measured in Illicium lanceolatum, I. majus and I. anisatum, which may cause health concerns if they are misidentified or mixed with edible Illicium verum. © 2013 Taylor & Francis.


Mathon C.,Official Food and Veterinary Control Authority of Geneva | Mathon C.,University of Geneva | Ankli A.,CAMAG Laboratory | Reich E.,CAMAG Laboratory | And 2 more authors.
Food Additives and Contaminants - Part A Chemistry, Analysis, Control, Exposure and Risk Assessment | Year: 2014

The adulteration of herbal supplements is of growing importance, especially when they contain undeclared compounds like sibutramine that are unsafe drugs. Sibutramine was withdrawn from US and European markets in 2010. In this study, an HPTLC-UV densitometric method was developed for the quantification of sibutramine in herbal diet foods. Sample extracts were directly applied onto HPTLC silica gel plates and separated with a mobile phase made of a toluene-methanol mixture. Sibutramine was quantified at 225 nm and its unequivocal identification was confirmed by MS using a TLC-MS interface. During two surveys, 52 weight loss supplements obtained via the Internet were screened. Half of those were adulterated with sibutramine at amounts reaching up to 35 mg per capsule. The results of this validated HPTLC method were compared with those obtained by HPLC-UV and HPLC-MS/MS. The results were not significantly different with the three methods. © 2014 Taylor & Francis.


Ho N.H.,Official Food and Veterinary Control Authority of Geneva | Bugey A.,Official Food and Veterinary Control Authority of Geneva | Zimmerli P.,Official Food and Veterinary Control Authority of Geneva | Ortelli D.,Official Food and Veterinary Control Authority of Geneva | Edder P.,Official Food and Veterinary Control Authority of Geneva
Chimia | Year: 2014

In 2009, high concentrations of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (dl-PCBs) were found in soils located near the municipal garbage incinerator of Geneva. The matter of food contamination in this area was raised. Based on exposure criteria, a strategy of analysis of animal fats has been established with farmers in the Geneva area. Most methods of analysis of dl-PCBs, dioxins and furans, are based on gas chromatography coupled to highresolution mass spectrometry (GC-HRMS) and considered as the reference methodology. An innovative approach was developed by programmed-temperature vaporizer large-volume injection (PTV-LV) and gas chromatography coupled with triple quadrupole mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS) analysis. This analytical method was validated and was found suitable for screening and quantification of target compounds in animal fats (beef, pork, sheep, etc.). PTV-LV coupled to GC-MS/MS appeared to be a good alternative compared to the GC-HRMS strategy, offering a good compromise between sensitivity, versatility of instrumentation, and economical aspects. A survey of 121 samples was conducted. © Schweizerische Chemische Gesellschaft.


PubMed | Official Food and Veterinary Control Authority of Geneva
Type: Evaluation Studies | Journal: Food chemistry | Year: 2012

Safety, quality and composition assessments of food supplements based on botanical ingredients are of major concern, as they have usually not been through a rigorous testing process as required for the approval of therapeutic phytopreparations. Therefore, an efficient multi-targeted method was developed to screen selected botanicals of interest in herbal food supplements. Liquid chromatography coupled with a hybrid triple quadrupole linear ion trap was used for this purpose. Botanicals were characterised by means of appropriate biomarkers, which were unambiguously identified by mass spectrometry using an information dependent acquisition experiment which combined a multiple reaction monitoring survey with dependent enhanced product ion scans. During this procedure, product ion scans of targeted analytes were generated at three collision energies and compared with an in-house library of MS/MS spectra acquired from reference standards of all biomarkers. This generic method enables detection, identification and quantification of 98 biomarkers intended to characterise 79 selected plants.

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