A liquid chromatography – tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method for the determination of oxytetracycline (OTC), 4-epi oxytetracycline (4-epi OTC), tetracycline (TC), 4-epi tetracycline (4-epi TC), chlortetracycline (CTC), 4-epi chlortetracycline (4-epi CTC), doxycycline (DC), minocycline (MINO), methacycline (META) and rolitetracycline (ROLI) residues in muscles was developed. The procedure consisted of an oxalic acid extraction followed by protein removal with trichloroacetic acid. Further solid phase clean-up on polymeric (Strata X) reversed phase columns was performed to obtain an extract suitable for LC-MS/MS analysis. The tetracyclines were separated on a C 18 analytical column with mobile phase consisting of 0.01% formic acid in acetonitrile and 0.01% formic acid in water in gradient mode. The method was validated according to the Commission Decision 2002/657/EC. The recoveries of all target compounds were 91.8% – 103.6%. The decision limits were from 109.0 to 119.8 μg/kg and detection capability varied within the range of 122.2 to 137.6 μg/kg, depending on the analyte.
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