A two-dimensional non-comprehensive reversed/normal phase high-performance liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry system for determination of limonene and linalool hydroperoxides
A two-dimensional non-comprehensive high-performance liquid chromatographic (HPLC) system coupled to electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry was developed for the determination of skin allergenic hydroperoxides of limonene and linalool. These compounds are some major components behind skin sensitization and contact (skin) allergy to fragrances.
Fragrance hydroperoxides usually occur in complex compositions, often as constituents of the natural essential oils added to a large number of commercial products. Their similarities to interfering compounds, many with identical elemental composition, make the determination difficult even when using selective detection methods like mass spectrometry. In this work, a first-dimension chromatographic heart-cut isolation of the hydroperoxides on a reversed-phase HPLC system was combined with a second-dimension normal-phase HPLC system for separation of the hydroperoxides. The intersystem transfer was made by trapping the heart-cut fraction on a short graphitized carbon column, exchanging the mobile phase and back-flushing the hydroperoxides into the second dimension.
Each analysis was performed within 60 min without any pretreatment, except dilution, prior to injection. The obtained instrumental limits of detection (LODs) at a signal-to-noise ratio of 3 were lower than 1.2 ng injected on column and method LODs were below 0.3 ppm. An after-shave product was shown to contain the highest concentrations of the measured hydroperoxides, with 445 ± 23 ppm of total linalool hydroperoxides. This level is likely able to elicit skin reactions in already sensitized individuals.