New Method for the Detection of Fipronil Insecticide in Poultry Launched by SCIEX

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  • Published: Nov 20, 2017
  • Source: SCIEX
  • Channels: HPLC / Base Peak

Tri-company collaboration sets up a fast and sensitive multi-component single method using LC-MS/MS

WARRINGTON UK. November 9, 2017.

SCIEX, a global leader in life science analytical technologies, today announced the publication of a fast and sensitive multi-component single method using LC-MS/MS for the detection and quantitation of fipronil and its associated metabolites, in eggs and other poultry products. Fipronil, an insecticide found to have contaminated eggs across Europe this summer, is toxic to man if it is eaten in large quantities, and can have dangerous effects on the kidneys, liver and thyroid.

In light of this eggs scare, SCIEX, in collaboration with its sister company, Phenomenex, and TLR (the Netherlands’ accredited lab for fipronil testing), have rapidly developed a unique method that detects fipronil along with amitraz, a previously unmonitored insecticide, and their metabolites in a single analysis. The LC-MS/MS method detects fipronil down to the maximum residue limit (MRL) levels of ten parts per billion (10 ppb) using the SCIEX QTRAP® or Triple Quad 6500+ Systems.

To quickly address the fipronil contamination issue, the method was developed in only two weeks through the tri-company collaboration. This collaboration was initiated when TLR requested a more reliable fipronil testing method, which was enhanced by Phenomenex’s know-how on sample extraction from eggs and other matrices.

“This is a great example of how mass spectrometry vendors can work closely with customers and collaborators to set up an optimised method in response to a food crisis,” said Dr Ashley Sage, Senior Manager, Applied Markets Business Development, SCIEX. “The quick development of this method would not have been possible without the expertise of Phenomenex and the input from TLR.” TLR has been working with SCIEX for several years; the lab routinely tests for hundreds of banned and restricted pesticides using multi-analyte methods such as the SCIEX iMethod Application for Pesticide Screening with its SCIEX 5500 and 6500+ Triple Quad Systems.

The new fipronil assay detects several insecticides and their metabolites with very high sensitivity, using a modified QuEChERS sample preparation method for the extraction of the egg and poultry matrices. Mass spectrometry analysis is performed on a SCIEX Triple Quad 6500+ LC-MS/MS instrument using electrospray ionisation, and scheduled MRM detection with simultaneous positive/negative ionisation switching throughout the run.

“This method is optimised for our 6500+ System, since some of the metabolites require very high sensitivity to be detected,” said Dr Sage. “The fact that the Triple Quad 6500+ System operates in a positive-negative ionisation mode enables us to run two different compounds and their metabolites under different ionisation conditions in the same run, resulting in excellent linearity and reproducibility of detection for all compounds.”

The new method is available to food testing laboratories worldwide, for more information please contact


SCIEX helps to improve the world we live in by enabling scientists and laboratory analysts to find answers to the complex analytical challenges they face. The company's global leadership and world-class service and support in the capillary electrophoresis and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry industry have made it a trusted partner to thousands of the scientists and lab analysts worldwide who are focused on basic research, drug discovery and development, food and environmental testing, forensics and clinical research. With over 40 years of proven innovation, SCIEX excels by listening to and understanding the ever-evolving needs of its customers to develop reliable, sensitive and intuitive solutions that continue to redefine what is achievable in routine and complex analysis. For more information, please visit

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