The use of clenbuterol (CLE) as a growth-promoting agent in livestock is banned in the USA, European Union, and Mexico. Nevertheless, different studies have reported the presence of this agent in meat products, potentially causing intoxication in consumers. In this study, ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS) is proposed for CLE determination in beef. A simple solid-phase extraction step was used as a cleanup sample method; the chromatographic separation was achieved with anAcquity UPLC HSS T3 column using a mobile-phase formic acid and methanol. We use a XEVO-TQS detector by positive-ion electrospray in the multiple reactions monitoring modes. The mass transitions monitored were m/z 277.08 → 202.95 for CLE and m/z 286.1 → 203.9 for clenbuterol-D9, used as an internal standard. The method was linear over the concentration range of 0.1–1.6 ng/g. Once validated, the method was applied to monitor CLE in beef samples collected at local markets of San Luis Potosí (central region of Mexico). Despite the ban on the use of CLE to grow cattle, we find levels of beta-agonist, with concentrations between 0.6 and 10.4 ng/g. Our method is ideal for routine analysis for quality control and food safety.
Beef Clenbuterol Food safety Ultra-performance liquid chromatography Mass spectrometry
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The authors acknowledge the technical support of team Dixpertia, especially QFB Gustavo Adolfo Meza-Galeana and QFB Adriana Flores-Moreno. This work was supported by the program of incentives for research and development (PEI), project number 178105-2012 Council of Science and Technology of México (CONACyT). We also thank CONACyT Mexico for the scholarship granted to Martha F. Medellín-Martínez for her Master studies.
This study was funded by the program of incentives for research and development (PEI), project number 178105-2012, Council of Science and Technology of México (CONACyT).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Martha F. Medellín-Martínez declares that she has no conflict of interest. Israel Luna-Zavala declares that he has no conflict of interest. Maricela Martínez-Delgado declares that she has no conflict of interest. José T. Pérez-Urizar declares that he has no conflict of interest. Jorge A. Ramírez-Telles declares that he has no conflict of interest. Omar Patiño-Rodríguez declares that he has no conflict of interest.
This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors. The meat samples were acquired directly from the certified supplier. For the study in local markets, the direct acquisition of meat with the local supplier was carried out.
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