3818787702?profile=originalAbilasha Ramkumar is a postdoctoral fellow in the chemical food safety department at Teagasc Food Research Centre, Ashtown and she works on the development of an LC-MS /MS method for determining quarternary ammonium compounds in milk.

Abilasha recently attended the HPLC 2015 conference in Geneva, Switzerland. In the article below, she gives an overview of her visit. Funding for this visit was provided under the safefood Training & Mobility Programme. More information on the programme available here.  

Aims and Objectives of Visit

  1. To disseminate my research results in the form of a poster presentation on the topic “Evaluation of various QuEChERS sample preparation methods for the determination of quarternary ammonium compounds in milk.”
  2. To attend lectures on the current trends in liquid chromatography – tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) and related detection methods, ways to push the limit of detection, identification and data processing.
  3. Professional networking.

Purpose and Relevance

Food safety is a growing concern worldwide and testing of food for quality is an area of increasing importance. LC-MS/MS is recognised as a sensitive, selective and accurate technique for residue analysis in food and many application require the screening of 50-1000 compounds in a single method. LC-MS/MS has the ability to detect and monitor a range of contaminants and high sensitivity analyses allow simpler sample preparation protocols.


I disseminated my research results through a poster presentation on the topic “Evaluation if various QuEChERS sample preparation methods for the determination of quarternary ammonium compounds in milk”. I attended various workshops, tutorials and sessions packed with keynote, plenary, invited and contributed talks from government, academic and industrial scientists. Specifically, I attended various lectures given by experts in the field of chromatography. Advances in supercritical fluid chromatography, hyphenated spearations, UPLC separations, bioanalysis and food analysis were some of the areas of discussion. I also attended a number of seminars by vendors such as Waters, Agilent, Thermo etc., where they gave a brief overview of their latest products and their features. I got a chance to view a variety of posters which helped me update my knowledge about the advancements in the field of chromatography and food analysis. I also networked by interacting with other researches and experts in the field of chromatography and mass spectrometry. Overall the meeting emphasized the fundamental aspects of sample preparation, separation science, novel developments and applications and hyphenation with mass spectrometry.

Knowledge Transfer

The visit helped widen my knowledge in various aspects of LC-MS/MS. I presented my work to a wide audience and many of them, especially from industry, were very interested to know more about my research. I also got to find out more about researchers from different parts of the world and their work. This has inspired me to think outside the box and apply it to my research. Listening to seminars by vendors helped me to find out about the various advancements in the UPLC and MS instrumentation. Following the visit, I am writing a paper which I plan to submit for publication in scientific journals.

Added value and anticipated benefits

I got to see the work of, and discuss research with, fellow researchers from all over the world, which adds professional value. Many eminent scientists commended my work, which has improved my confidence and I am more motivated now. I gained knowledge on the current trends in various aspects of chromatography and mass spectrometry. Through the visit, I gained a number of professional contacts with who I will discuss collaborative research. I also got in touch with many researchers from the industries who were interested in my work and we are planning for industry-academia collaborative projects in the future.

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