IONICON has participated in the 1st Workshop on Customs Detection Technologies. We have gathered exciting insight and presented an interesting showcase for drug detection with PTR-MS.
The 1st Workshop on Customs Detection Technologies has taken place in October 2014 in Budapest, Hungary. Representatives of the customs of European countries and those of other invited countries have met with scientists of customs laboratories and representatives of the industry. PTR-MS is an emerging technology for safety, security and customs applications. We gladly followed the invitation to present PTR-MS in a talk and in life demonstrations at the exhibition.
Our scientists have devised showcases tailored for the security and customs audience. A nice example is displayed in the image: In the headspace of two glasses of Cola we find a complex mixture of aroma compounds. While the Cola formula is a well kept secret, we can reveal one compound in notable concentrations, Limonene, on m/z 137, green line on screen. In the second sample an additional compound on protonated m/z 87, blue line, is observed to increase. This is the result of spiking the drink with 20 µl gamma-Butyrolactone (GBL – a prodrug for GHB) which is a so-called date rape drug often used to spike drinks.
PTR-MS can clearly detect already minute amounts of this drug in a complex sample within a few milliseconds.