Identification of hormone esters in injection site in muscle tissues by LC/MS/MS

Identification of hormone esters in injection site in muscle tissues by LC/MS/MS / R.M. Costain, A.C.E. Fesser, D. McKenzie, M. Mizuno, J.D. MacNeil. - (Food additives & contaminants. Part A, Chemistry, analysis, control, exposure & risk assessment 25 (2008) 12 (December); p. 1520-1529)

  • PMID: 19680861
  • DOI: 10.1080/02652030802192090


The detection of hormone abuse for growth promotion in food animal production is a global concern. Initial testing for hormones in Canada was directed at the compounds approved for use in beef cattle, melengestrol acetate, trenbolone acetate and zeranol, and the banned compound diethylstilbestrol (DES). No hormonal growth promoters are approved for use in veal production in Canada. However, instances of use of trenbolone and clenbuterol were detected in Canada in the 1990s. During the development of a new analytical method for testosterone and progesterone, there were reports of suspicious injection sites being found in veal calves. Upon implementation of the method, analysis of investigative samples revealed significant residues of testosterone in some injection sites. To prove that the source of these residues was exogenous, a fully validated method for hormone esters was developed to confirm the presence of exogenous hormones in these injection sites. The QUECHERS model was employed in methods development and resulted in a simple, effective extraction technique that consisted of sample pre-homogenization, liquid/liquid partitioning, extract dilution, filtration and use of LC/MS/MS to provide detection selectivity. The result was an adaptable MS/MS confirmation technique that meets the needs of Canadian regulatory authorities to confirm the misuse of injectable testosterone, and potentially other hormones, in food animal production.


Research / Study
2 December 2008
Costain, R.M.
Fesser, A.C.E.
MacNeil, James D.
McKenzie, D.
Mizuno, M.
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Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)
Analytical aspects
Mass spectrometry analysis
Testing method development
Doping classes
S1. Anabolic Agents
Trenbolone (17β-hydroxyestr-4,9,11-trien-3-one)
Meat contamination
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Date generated
5 June 2019
Date of last modification
7 September 2020
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