Advancing Antibiotic Residue Analysis: LC-MS/MS Methodology for Ticarcillin Degradation Products in Tomato Leaves

Muhammad K. Hakeem, Sampathkumar Elangovan, Mohammed Rafi, Suja George, Iltaf Shah, Khaled M.A. Amiri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The indiscriminate use of antibiotics in agriculture has raised concerns about antibiotic residues in food products, necessitating robust analytical methods for detection and quantification. In this study, our primary aim was to develop a robust and advanced liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) methodology specifically designed for the accurate quantification of ticarcillin degradation products in tomato leaves. The choice of ticarcillin as the target analyte stems from its frequent use in agriculture and the potential formation of degradation products, which can pose a threat to food safety. The use of tomatoes as the target sample matrix in this study is justified by their significance in human diets, their widespread cultivation, and their suitability as a model for assessing antibiotic residue dynamics in diverse agricultural environments. By optimizing the MS/MS parameters, the study successfully demonstrates the practicality and reliability of the employed LC-MS/MS method in accurately assessing ticarcillin degradation product (Thiophene-2-Acetic acid and Thiophene-3-Acetic acid) levels. The chromatographic separation was achieved using a specialized column, ensuring high resolution and sensitivity in detecting analytes. Multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) data acquisition was employed to enhance the selectivity and accuracy of the analysis. The developed method exhibited excellent linearity and precision, meeting the stringent requirements for antibiotic residue analysis in complex matrices. Key outcomes of this study include the successful identification and quantification of ticarcillin and its degradation products in tomato leaves, providing crucial insights into the fate of this antibiotic in agricultural settings. The methodology’s applicability was further demonstrated by analyzing real-world samples, highlighting its potential for routine monitoring and ensuring food safety compliance. In summary, our study constitutes a noteworthy advancement in the domain of antibiotic residue analysis, offering a reliable method for quantifying ticarcillin degradation products in tomato leaves. The optimized parameters and MRM-based LC-MS/MS approach enhance the precision and sensitivity of the analysis, opening up opportunities for further studies in the assessment of antibiotic residues in agricultural ecosystems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number133
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024


  • antibiotic residue analysis
  • LC-MS/MS
  • thiophene-2-acetic acid
  • thiophene-3-acetic acid
  • ticarcillin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Biochemistry
  • General Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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