A review is presented on recent applications of mass spectrometry (MS)-based techniques for the analysis of compounds of food concern. Substances discussed are naturally occurring compounds in food products such as lipids, oligosaccharides, proteins, vitamins, flavonoids and related substances, phenolic compounds and aroma compounds. Among xenobiotics, applications of MS techniques for the analysis of pesticides, drug residues, toxins, amines and migrants from packaging are overviewed. Advances in the analysis of trace metals of nutritional and toxicological interest by MS with inductively coupled plasma (ICP) source are presented. The main features of mass spectrometry combined with separation instruments are discussed in food-related analysis. Examples of mass spectrometry and tandem MS (MS–MS) are provided. The development and application of matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) and electrospray (ESI) to the analysis of peptides and proteins in food is discussed. This survey will attempt to cover the state-of-the-art up from 1999 to 2001.
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