The UPLC/MS is able to do everything the HPLC can do, only better and more precisely. It does this by using a very-high-pressure micropump (15,000 PSI) combined with a dual-detector photodiode array (PDA) and a more powerful mass-spectrometer detector. It is used in cases where extreme sensitivity is needed.
Currently, this is the most-advanced and widest-application tool for analysis. It allows for the most precise measurements in parts per trillion rather than billion or million. The UPLC/MS is able to effectively analyze herbs and medicinal components.
The UPLC/MS combines the advanced separation capabilities of an HPLC with the powerful analytical abilities of a mass spectrometer.
A sample is injected into the UPLC system and separated into its various components. These components enter the MS through an “electrospray interface,” where very rapid ionization takes place. At this point, their mass spectra can be used to pinpoint-analyze the sample.
The main advantage of this system is that it generates fast, accurate, and extremely precise measurements by creating an electronic signature of a compound. We test many nutraceuticals with this instrument, such as glycosides in black cohosh, thujone in wormwood, and residual antibiotics in royal jelly.