metAlignID: A high-throughout sofware tool set for automated detection of trace level contaminants in comprehensive LECO two-dimensional gas chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry data

A. Lommen, H.J. van der Kamp, H.J. Kools, M.K. van der Lee, G. van der Weg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A new alternative data processing tool set, metAlignID, is developed for automated pre-processing and library-based identification and concentration estimation of target compounds after analysis by comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography with mass spectrometric detection. The tool set has been developed for and tested on LECO data. The software is developed to run multi-threaded (one thread per processor core) on a standard PC (personal computer) under different operating systems and is as such capable of processing multiple data sets simultaneously. Raw data files are converted into netCDF (network Common Data Form) format using a fast conversion tool. They are then preprocessed using previously developed algorithms originating from metAlign software. Next, the resulting reduced data files are searched against a user-composed library (derived from user or commercial NIST-compatible libraries) (NIST = National Institute of Standards and Technology) and the identified compounds, including an indicative concentration, are reported in Excel format. Data can be processed batch wise. The overall time needed for conversion together with processing and searching of 30 raw data sets for 560 compounds is routinely within an hour. The screening performance is evaluated for detection of pesticides and contaminants in raw data obtained after analysis of soil and plant samples. Results are compared to the existing data-handling routine based on proprietary software (LECO, ChromaTOF). The developed software tool set, which is freely downloadable at www.metalign.nl, greatly accelerates data-analysis and offers more options for fine-tuning automated identification toward specific application needs. The quality of the results obtained is slightly better than the standard processing and also adds a quantitative estimate. The software tool set in combination with two-dimensional gas chromatography coupled to time-of-flight mass spectrometry shows great potential as a highly-automated and fast multi-residue instrumental screening method.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-178
JournalJournal of Chromatography. A, Including electrophoresis and other separation methods
Volume1263
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Keywords

  • pesticides
  • separation
  • extraction
  • residues
  • fish

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