Nitrofurans are a class of broad-spectrum antibiotics that are widely used to kill or slow down the growth of bacteria in the aquaculture industry. The use of nitrofurans and their metabolites has been restricted by a number of countries and organizations within the European Union, United States and China, due to their harmful side effects to human health, and a Minimum Required Performance Limit (MRPL) 0f 1.0 µg/kg has been set for food, animal and aquaculture products.
LC/MS/MS methods have been used for the detection of nitrofuran metabolites in many studies owing to the high sensitivity, selectivity and specificity of the methods. However, nitrofuran metabolites demonstrate low ionization efficiency with the electrospray ion source used in LC/MS/MS systems. Therefore, the use of a derivatization step for nitrofuran metabolites before extraction and LC/MS/MS analysis is crucial to meet the low regulatory limits of 1.0 µg/kg in food samples. The main purpose of this work is to determine the detection limits for nitrofurans using QSight® 210 LC/MS/MS system.