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Chem Cent J. 2012 Dec 13;6(1):157. doi: 10.1186/1752-153X-6-157.

Simultaneous determination of methylcarbamate and ethylcarbamate in fermented foods and beverages by derivatization and GC-MS analysis.

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Department of Environmental Education, Kongju, 314-701, Republic of Korea.



Methylcarbamate (MC) and ethylcarbamate (EC) are toxic compounds that commonly exist in fermented food and beverages. In order to estimate the risk for their exposure, a sensitive simultaneous analytical method is required


A simultaneous determination of MC and EC was described based on derivatization with 9-xanthydrol and consecutive detection using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The derivatization of MC and EC was performed directly in food or beverages and the reaction conditions were established through changing various parameters. The detection and the quantification limits were 0.01-0.03 μg/kg and 0.03-0.1 μg/kg, respectively, and the interday relative standard deviation was less than 12% at concentrations of 2.0 and 50 μg/kg. MC and EC were measured from 0.4 μg/kg to 85.8 μg/kg in sixteen Korean fermented foods and eleven beverages.


A simple, sensitive method to detect MC and EC in several solid foods and liquid foods was developed based on derivatization with 9-xanthydrol for 10 min at an ambient temperature. The method may useful for routine analysis of MC and EC in numerous food samples.

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