An accurate and precise method for the quantification of acrylamide using stable isotope dilution liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry was developed and used to measure acrylamide in coffee and cocoa samples. The sample preparation involved extraction of the analyte and its internal standard, 13C3-acrylamide, into water and subsequent defatting of the aqueous extract with dichloromethane. An aliquot of the resulting aqueous extract was then azeotropically dried under reduced pressure and subsequently purified using an aminopropyl-bonded silica cartridge. The purified extracts were then chromatographed on a 5-μm 2.1×150 mm Hypercarb column, the effluent of which was monitored for the analyte and its internal standard using positive-ion APCI-selected reaction monitoring. The intra-laboratory reproducibility of the method, expressed as a relative coefficient of variation (%, n=5), was determined at four levels of concentration (12.3, 42.3, 139.3 and 464.8 μg kg−1) and was found to vary between 0.6–2.5%. The accuracy of the method was assessed using a reference sample of coffee. The average result obtained using our method differed from the assigned value of the reference material by less than 1%. An analysis of a cocoa sample revealed that the method is capable of precisely estimating acrylamide in challenging matrices down to a level of at least 12.3 μg kg−1.
- tandem mass spectrometry
- isotope dilution
- atmospheric pressure chemical ionisation