binoculars_112320It’s a very uncertain world. Who knows what the future holds? If anything is certain, it’s that 2020 is not the year we all thought it was going to be. Having certainty is important in everything we do, especially in analytical testing because the implications of being uncertain can be far reaching. Such dilemmas can include, “Is that compound really there?” “What if I report a false positive?” “Have I missed something?” “How can I get confirmation?” All these need accurate answers, with speed and efficiency.

In analytical testing instrumental methods often rely on triple quadrupole GC and LC-MS methods. These methods usually provide the sensitivity needed to meet regulatory requirements, but when they don’t, because of matrix interferences or when a confirming method is needed, orthogonal technology with enhanced specificity and sensitivity is needed. One lab that has taken the GC Orbitrap route is the Laboratori de l’Agència de Salut Pública de Barcelona who adopted a Q Exactive GC Orbitrap GC-MS/MS approach to confirming suspect triple quadrupole GC-MS results. Nuria Cortés-Francisco talks in detail about overcoming uncertain results in the on-demand webinar, “Cut through the uncertainty: the benefits of Orbitrap GC-MS for the analysis of pesticides and environmental contaminants in food matrices.” This webinar discusses the benefits of using an Orbitrap GC-MS system in a high throughput analytical laboratory that handles a diverse range of matrix-analyte combinations. The webinar also demonstrates, with examples, how the high selectivity of the GC-Orbitrap can also complement GC-triple quadrupole MS/MS by overcoming issues encountered with analyte sensitivity, identification and confirmation.

According to Dr. Nuria Cortés-Francisco, “the concern we had with our triple quadrupole methods was matrix interferences, where in some cases we were not confident in our results because the confirming ion ratio requirements weren’t met. Based on triple quadrupole method requirements, you would say it’s a negative, but with an obvious peak, we were concerned that the negative was false. In these cases, we confirm our triple quadrupole results using the Q Exactive GC Orbitrap  GC-MS/MS system. With a triple quadrupole system, you only obtain the nominal mass so you can’t be sure if it’s the target compound or matrix interferences.”

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Confidence and certainty in the results of food safety and environmental testing is of utmost importance. The Q Exactive GC Orbitrap GC-MS/MS system brings together the power of high-chromatographic resolution and HRAM Orbitrap MS to provide high-specificity, high-sensitivity target compound analyses when GC-MS triple quadrupole methods produce inconclusive results or cannot achieve required detection limits. When a confirming method is needed, the Q Exactive GC Orbitrap GC-MS/MS system is the orthogonal technology to apply.

In addition to the webinar, you can read more in this case study with Dr. Nuria Cortes.