Highly sensitive detection of five typical fluoroquinolones in low-fat milk by field-enhanced sample injection based CE in bubble cell capillary
Fluoroquinolones are a group of synthetic antibiotics with a broad activity spectrum against mycoplasma, gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. Due to the extensive use of fluoroquinolones in farming and veterinary science, there is a constant need in the analytical methods able to efficiently monitor their residues in food products of animal origin, regulated by Commission Regulation (European Union) no. 37/2010. Herein, field-enhanced sample injection for sample stacking prior the CZE separation was developed inside a bubble cell capillary for highly sensitive detection of five typical fluoroquinolones in bovine milk. Ethylenediamine was proposed as the main component of BGE for the antibiotics separation. The effect of BGE composition, injection parameters and water plug length on the field-enhanced sample injection based CE with UV detection was investigated. Under the optimized conditions, described field-enhanced sample injection based CE-UV analysis of fluoroquinolones provides LODs varying from 0.4 to 1.3 ng/mL. These LOD values are much lower (from 460 to 1500 times) than those obtained by a conventional CE in a standard capillary without bubble cell. The developed method was finally applied for the analysis of fluoroquinolones in low-fat milk from a Swiss supermarket. Sample recovery values from 93.6% to 106.0% for different fluoroquinolones, and LODs from 0.7 to 2.5 μg/Kg, were achieved. Moreover, the proposed ethylenediamine-based BGE as volatile and compatible with MS system, enabled the coupling of the field-enhanced sample injection-based CE with a recently introduced electrostatic spray ionization MS via an iontophoretic fraction collection interface for qualitative fluoroquinolones identification.