Pharmaceuticals in grocery market fish fillets by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry

Musavvir Arafat Mottaleb, Carly Stowe, Daniel R. Johnson, Mohammed J. Meziani, M. Abdul Mottaleb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Occurrences of pharmaceuticals are evident in aquatic organisms. A reproducible gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) method using selected ion monitoring (SIM) has been used to determine the anti-histamine diphenhydramine (DPH), anti-anxiety diazepam (DZP), anti-seizure carbamazepine (CZP) drugs and their metabolites in grocery stores fish that were homogenized, extracted, pre-concentrated, cleaned up, and examined. Identifications of the compounds in extracts were obtained by comparing similar mass spectral features and retention properties with standards. Among nine frequently detected drugs, only DPH and DZP were observed and ranged from 0.61 to 6.21 and 1.99 to 16.57 ng/g, respectively, in fourteen fish species. These concentration values were lower than the environmental fish. Mean spike recoveries of analytes exceeded 75% with relative standard deviations (RSD) < 10%. The statistically-derived method detection limits (MDLs) for nine compounds ranged from 0.13 to 5.56 ng/g. Average surrogate recoveries were 80-85% with 4-9% RSD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)529-536
Number of pages8
JournalFood Chemistry
StatePublished - Jun 10 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge the help of Dr. Christian Daughton, U.S. EPA, Las Vegas, Nevada for initiating the pharmaceutical and personal care products analysis in the environment. Author (M.A. Mottaleb) would like to thank Dr. G. Wayne Sovocool, Retired Research Chemist, Environmental Sciences Division, U. S. EPA, Las Vegas, Nevada for editing and improving the quality of the manuscript. The authors also thank to the Research Committee, the Dean of the College and Arts and Sciences, and the CIE Director of the Northwest Missouri State University for financial support to continue the research project.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2015 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Diazepam
  • Diphenhydramine
  • Drugs
  • Edible fish
  • GC-MS
  • Grocery stores
  • Pharmaceuticals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Food Science


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