LC-MS/MS and GC-MS unknown spike analysis (Troubleshooting)

Your needs: to characterize an unknown substance or degradation product in a chemical formulation.

During the transformation process, a substance can be subject to various attacks from elements in its environment, some of which will alter its chemical composition : pollution, leaching, degradation, formula changes…

These non-compliances can impact the initial properties of a product in terms of both performance and safety for the end user. Inspections are therefore crucial and must be carried out regularly from the moment the raw materials are received all the way till the end of the production process before the product can be put on the market.

These challenges require more and more precise, sophisticated analytical techniques and the know-how of a specialized laboratory to make it possible to quickly identify the exact composition of a substance and to determine whether or not it complies with standards.

Our solution: to use Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS/MS and GC-MS) to determine the nature of the content related to the unknown spike

What is Mass Spectrometry?

Mass spectrometry, thanks to technical progress being made over the last few years, is now a widely used method renown for its precision and sensitivity. MS provides both quantitative (determination of content) and qualitative (chemical nature) data, reducing the overall time it takes to analyze any given sample.

When combined with LC (or HPLC), MS provides the best detection quality and can analyze all kinds (organic and inorganic) unknown compounds or degradation products at very low concentrations.

At FILAB we have MS-MS dual detection allowing us to analyze very faint concentrations.


Made up of a team of 65 people, with an analytical fleet spread over 2100m², FILAB laboratory is able to assist industrial clients from all fields in identifying the nature of an unknown substance.

By combining chromatography techniques to confirm the presence of an unknown substance using LC-MS/MS or GC-MS, our experts will be able to quickly identify what is behind an unexpected spike and to find its point of origin: degradation product, pollutant, container/contents migration, change in formula…

To have an internal inspection report validated or to verify the results of an audit, feel free to call on FILAB for assistance with your industrial endeavors.

The positive aspects of FILAB

  • A highly qualified team

  • Responsiveness in responding to and processing requests

  • A complete analytical park of 2100m²

  • Tailor-made support

Caroline KURZAWA
Caroline KURZAWA R&D Project Engineer
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