Analysis of Food Samples with LA-REIMS
By Mudita Vats -M4i-IMS, Maastricht University
WHAT IS LA-REIMS?
It stands for Laser Assisted - Rapid Evaporative Ionization Mass Spectrometry. This technique works on the principle of shooting laser (CO2 laser in this case) over the sample which release smoke or vapor that goes into the mass spectrometer through a tubing. The instrument has a Time of Flight analyzer for analyzing the ions. It is mainly able to detect lipids. Most mass spectrometry imaging techniques have a disadvantage of reduced signal intensities due to variation in the height of the sample. They additionally need sample preparation like sectioning which is not possible with every sample. However, with REIMS we do not face these challenges.
In food-based research, LA-REIMS has been used to analyze microbial spoilage, texture, toxicity, etc in meat. I am studying the lipid profile of mushroom, which is popular for its flavour and nutritional benefits, using automated 3-D MS scanner demonstrating the advantage of using ambient ionization technique on uneven samples.