Rapid Characterization of an Energy Drink using DART® and QuEChERS Sample Prep

2010, Nov, 04


Content Data and Images


What’s in 5-hour ENERGY?

Direct Analysis in Real Time (DART®) of 5-hour Energy Chaser can be complete by directly sampling the liquid however we wanted to extend the range of molecules being detected using QuEChERS extraction protocol to separate the small molecules from more abundant components of the drink.
Samples are either inserted into the desorption ionization region and exposed to the heated gas for a long time period or they can be pushed through the region at a user selected rate depending on their physical chemical characteristics
The DART® SVP software was used to automate the analysis by controlling the type of movement, gas temperature, ionization mode, and exposure time for the experiment

48-Well Plate with Inverted Glass Inserts

Sampling using the 3+D scanner module.
Microtiter plate populated with glass inserts in every other row
Up to 10 ul of the drink was pipetted onto the top surface of the glass inserts
One glass insert per sample isolates each sample from the next so that each analysis starts with the same temperature surface
The Angle DART® SVP option is used for more efficient desorption
The VAPUR® interface permits sampling from all locations on the plate

Mass Spectrometry-Based Characterization of Non-traditional Supplements and Drink

Apply the Thermal Profiling Method to Identify Suitable Desorption Temperature for Application

Utilize DART® of Product and QuEChERS Extract to Generate More Comprehensive Small Molecule Profiles

The Combination of QuEChERS Extraction with DART®-MS Enables Screening for Target and non-Targeted Chemicals in Seconds Per Sample

Complete a Thermal Profile of the Product
Analysis of 5-hour Energy Drink – 5 minutes

Pipet 10 ul of drink onto a series of inserts
Analyze 3 inserts by positive ion DART® at successively higher gas temperatures
The “Thermal Profile”� drives method development by identifying desorption temperature where most features or ions are observed for a specific sample, in this case between 300C and 400C.

5-hour Energy Drink
Positive Ion DART®-MS

Energy Drink processed using QuEChERS method
Comparison of the QuEChERS extract with the DART® MS of the original solution shows a radically different pattern.
Carbohydrate related ions dominate the spectrum of the untreated sampleE
Elimination of these molecules from sample yield more infomration

5-hour Energy Drink
Negative Ion DART®-MS

1ml Energy Drink processed using QuEChERS dispersive extraction procedure to isoloate small molecules
In this case, unlike Apple Juice which is a natural product the energy drink has a significant number of negative ion species that can be used to characterize the product.

Whey Protein
Drink Powder

1ml Protein Drink processed using QuEChERS
Comparison of the QuEChERS extract with the DART® MS of the original solution shows a pattern that looks similar at higher mass but the QuEChERS extract shows many more low mass ions.
No surprising that the mix contains may amino acids and other small molecules


Automated sampling protocols facilitates characterization of non-traditional products

DART®-based Thermal Profiling enables detection of a wider range of molecules per sample

Software control of sample positioning and exposure time to the DART® gas facilitates high throughput, automated operation

QuEChERS technology shows promise for a simple means to remove interfering components from complex food products just as it does for LC/MS

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