Open Probe Fast GC-MS � Real Time Analysis with Separation and its Application for Food Terrorism Analysis

Benjamin Neumark, Chemistry, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel (
Uri Keshet, Chemistry, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
Alexander Fialkov, Chemistry, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
Tal Alon, Chemistry, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
Aviv Amirav, Chemistry, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel

Open Probe Fast GC-MS was developed for the provision of real time analysis without sample preparation, with separation, library identification and with the low cost MS of standard GC-MS. Accordingly, Open Probe Fast GC-MS serves as a viable alternative to popular ambient desorption ionization techniques such as DART, DESI and ASAP. It is based on a heated probe oven that is mounted on a low thermal mass fast GC which is open to room air with helium purge flow protection to prevent air penetration. Open Probe fast GC-MS operation is simple: touch the sample with a sample holder, insert it into the Open Probe and start running GC-MS analysis with 30 seconds separation and 50 seconds to start of next analysis.

Common pesticides are easily available for farmers at tons amounts in fields, and even at supermarkets such as in various cockroach killers. While these toxic pesticides are intended for use against different kinds of pests, one can conceive their use to harm people and induce terror which we name "Food Terrorism". We explored the use the Open Probe Fast GC-MS with Cold EI for the analysis of selected scenarios of Food Terrorism such as cockroach killer pesticides on Tomatoes and various organo phosphorous pesticides dissolved in milk and on lettuce, carrot and grapes. We also analyzed labile carbamate pesticides such as aldicarb and carbaril on a carrot. Matrix interference was relatively small and we could measure and monitor the pesticide lifetime on the food items above.  

The operation of Open Probe fast GC-MS was demonstrated in the analysis of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in Cannabis flower, trace TNT on glass surface, Vitamin E in canola oil, poly-brominated flame retardants in plastics, alprazolam in Xanax drug pill, a range of drug pills and free fatty acids and cholesterol in raw human blood.



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