A sensitive and reliable method of liquid chromatography–electrospray ionization/tandem mass spectrometry (LC-ESI/MS/MS) was developed and validated for determining 1,3-dimethylamylamine (1,3-DMAA) and 1,4-dimethylamylamine (1,4-DMAA) in geranium plants (Pelargonium graveolens). The sample was extracted with 0.5 M HCl and purified by liquid-liquid partition with hexane. The parameters for reverse-phase (C18) LC and positive ESI/MS/MS were optimized. The matrix effect, specificity, linearity, precision, accuracy and reproducibility of the method were determined and evaluated. The method was linear over a range of 0.10–10.00 ng/mL examined, with R2 of 0.99 for both 1,3-DMAA and 1,4-DMAA. The recoveries from spiked concentrations between 5.00–40.00 ng/g were 85.1%–104.9% for 1,3-DMAA, with relative standard deviation (RSD) of 2.9%–11.0%, and 82.9%–101.8% for 1,4-DMAA, with RSD of 3.2%–11.7%. The instrument detection limit was 1–2 pg for both DMAAs. The quantification limit was estimated to be 1–2 ng/g for the plant sample. This method was successfully applied to the quantitative determination of 1,3- and 1,4-DMAA in both geranium plant and geranium oil.
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