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Analysis of fatty acids in ecstasy tablets
Forensic Science International
Fatty acids are the basis of so-called stearates which are frequently used as lubricants in the production of ecstasy tablets. Being a product added at the initial tablet production step its composition does not change once the compression is performed. The analysis of fatty acids can therefore provide useful information for a drug intelligence purpose. In this context an appropriate analytical method was developed to improve results already obtained by routine analyses. Considering the small quantity of such fatty acids in ecstasy tablets (not, vert, similar3%) the research focussed on their extraction and concentration. Two different procedures were tested: (1) liquid/liquid extraction using dichloromethane followed by derivatisation and (2) in situ transesterification using bortrifluoride. Analyses were performed by GC-MS. The two procedures were optimized and applied to eight ecstasy seizures, in order to choose one of the procedures for its application to a large ecstasy sample set. They were compared by considering the number of peaks detected and sample amount needed, reproducibility and other technical aspects.
Ecstasy , Fatty acids , Bortrifluoride , FAME , Liquid-liquid extraction, GC-MS
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