Separation of selenium species and their sensitive determination in rice samples by ion‐pairing reversed‐phase liquid chromatography with inductively coupled plasma tandem mass spectrometry

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EarlyView Article

  • Published: Nov 28, 2017
  • Author: Huan‐Huan Gao, Ming‐Xue Chen, Xian‐Qiao Hu, Shuang‐Shuang Chai, Mei‐Ling Qin, Zhao‐Yun Cao
  • Journal: Journal of Separation Science


A highly sensitive method was developed for the simultaneous separation and determination of organic and inorganic selenium species in rice by ion‐pairing reversed‐phase chromatography combined with inductively coupled plasma tandem mass spectrometry. To achieve a good separation of these species, a comparison between anion‐exchange chromatography and ion‐pairing reversed‐phase chromatography was performed. The results indicated that ion‐pairing reversed‐phase chromatography was more suitable due to better separation and higher sensitivity for all analytes. In this case, a StableBond C18 column proved to be more robust or to have a better resolution than other C18 columns, when 0.5 mM tetrabutylammonium hydroxide and 10 mM ammonium acetate at pH 5.5 were used as the mobile phase. Moreover, an excellent sensitivity was obtained in terms of interferences by means of tandem mass spectrometry in the hydrogen mode. The detection limits were 0.02–0.12 μg/L, and recoveries of five selenium species were 75–114%, with relative standard deviations ≤ 9.4%. This method was successfully applied to the analysis of rice samples. Compared with previous studies, the proposed method not only gave comparable results when used for measuring selenium‐enriched rice, but it can provide greater sensitivity for the detection of low concentrations of selenium species in rice.

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