A new rapid and sensitive method based on matrix solid-phase dispersion (MSPD) followed by liquid chromatography-electrospray-tandem mass spectrometry was devised for the determination of biogenic amines at trace levels in cheese samples. The method required 0.25 g of sample, CN- bonded silica as a dispersant sorbent, and a formic acid aqueous solution/methanol mixture as an eluting solvent. Extraction recoveries from soft cheese products were calculated in the 98 ( 4-110 ( 6% range. A procedure based on solid-phase extraction was also evaluated for the extraction of these compounds in cheese. Chromatographic separation was performed using a C18 column with an aqueous ammonium acetate/methanol mixture as the mobile phase under gradient conditions. The method was validated in terms of detection limits (LOD), quantitation limits (LOQ), linearity, recovery, precision, and trueness. Results in the 0.05-0.25 mg kg-1 range were obtained for the LOD of histamine, tyramine, and -phenylethylamine in soft cheese samples. Linearity was established over 2 orders of magnitude. Excellent precision in terms of intra-day repeatability was calculated (RSD% < 5). The applicability of the method to the determination of biogenic amines in cheese products was demonstrated.
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