Food Analytical Methods

, Volume 11, Issue 10, pp 2666–2672 | Cite as

Thin-layer Chromatographic Method for Quantification of Sulfonamides in Chicken Meat

  • J. M. K. J. K. Premarathne
  • D. A. Satharasinghe
  • A. R. C. Gunasena
  • A. Wanigasekara
  • D. M. S. Munasinghe
  • P. Abeynayake


The sulfonamides are a widely used group of antimicrobials in veterinary practice especially in developing countries due to their broad spectrum of activity, availability, and low cost. The objective of this study was to establish a thin-layer chromatographic (TLC) method to detect residues of commonly used sulfonamides in Sri Lanka in chicken. The TLC method separated sulfadiazine (SDZ), sulfadoxine (SD), sulfamethazine (SMZ), sulfathiazole (STZ), and sulfaquinoxaline (SQ) on silica gel plates using chloroform: n_butanol (90:10). Sulfonamides densitometric measurements were conducted by derivatising with fluorescamine and scanning the separated bands at 366 nm. The quantity of the sulfonamide in samples was calculated using a standard calibration curve obtained by plotting values of peak area against sulfonamide concentrations at 200, 150, 100, 50, 30, and 25 ng/g. The mean percentage recoveries were 80–120% while the intra-day and inter-day precision was 3–22% and 6–42% respectively. The SD had the highest limit of detection (LOD) and limit of quantification (LOQ) values of 60 and 100 ng/g respectively. The LOD of all the other analytes were 40 ng/g, and STZ had the lowest LOQ values of 50 ng/g. A reliable, inexpensive, simple, liquid-liquid extraction method for the rapid analysis of five sulfonamides at maximum residue limit (MRL) in chicken using TLC was developed.


Thin-layer chromatography Sulfonamides Residues Food safety 


Author Contributions

JMKJK Premarathne conducted the experiments, conceived the article, searched the literature, and prepared the manuscript as a part of her MPhil program. DA Satharasinghe conducted experiments and analyzed data. ARC Gunasena assisted in experiments. AW designed the experiment and supervised the work. DMS Munasinghe and P Abeynayake were responsible for supervising the project and editing the article in their role as MPhil supervisors for Premarathne.


The authors gratefully acknowledged the technical and financial support provided by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), research grant number 15586 under the contract research project D5-20-36: “Development of radiometric and allied analytical methods to strengthen national residue control programs for antibiotic and anthelmintic veterinary drug residues.” The authors are also profoundly grateful to A. Cannavan and Raj Patel at Agrochemicals Unit, FAO/IAEA Agriculture and Biotechnology Laboratory, Seibersdorf, Austria for providing the technical assistance in developing and validating this method.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

All authors declare that he/she has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed Consent

Not applicable.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. M. K. J. K. Premarathne
    • 1
    • 2
  • D. A. Satharasinghe
    • 1
  • A. R. C. Gunasena
    • 1
  • A. Wanigasekara
    • 1
  • D. M. S. Munasinghe
    • 1
  • P. Abeynayake
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal ScienceUniversity of PeradeniyaPeradeniyaSri Lanka
  2. 2.Faculty of Livestock, Fisheries and NutritionWayamba University of Sri LankaMakanduraSri Lanka

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