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Smartphone-based colorimetric determination of gamma-butyrolactone and gamma-hydroxybutyrate in alcoholic beverage samples

Procida, Anselmo; Honeychurch, Kevin C.

Smartphone-based colorimetric determination of gamma-butyrolactone and gamma-hydroxybutyrate in alcoholic beverage samples Thumbnail


Authors

Anselmo Procida



Abstract

Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GBH) is a popular recreational drug. Its strong sedative and amnesic effects have led to drug-facilitated sexual assaults, poisonings, overdose, and death. As a result, legislation has restricted its availability leading to GHB, consumers switching to its pro-drug, gamma-butyrolactone (GBL). Consequently, there is a growing need for methods capable of their determination in complex samples such as beverages. Previous studies have shown the possibility to colorimetrically qualitatively determine both GBH and GBL by the formation of the lactone and its reaction with hydroxylamine and ferric chloride to give a purple-colored complex. In this present investigation, we have shown the possibility of using this approach to both quantify GBL and GHB using both UV/Vis spectrometry and by the application of the camera of a smartphone to record images of the purple color developed. Via subsequent use of a downloadable free App, to extract the numerical values of the Red, Green, and Blue (RGB) color components, it was shown possible to construct a calibration curve and to quantitatively determine the concentration of the drugs present in fortified alcoholic beverage samples. It was found that by simple mathematical normalization of the RGB values the effects of camera distance and elimination could be readily overcome. Using the smartphone approach, GBL determinations on a sample of lager beer gave a mean recovery of 103% (%CV=0.70%, n=5) at a concentration of 0.56 mg/ml indicating the method holds promise for the determination of GBL and GHB in such samples.

Citation

Procida, A., & Honeychurch, K. C. (2022). Smartphone-based colorimetric determination of gamma-butyrolactone and gamma-hydroxybutyrate in alcoholic beverage samples. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 67(4), 1697-1703. https://doi.org/10.1111/1556-4029.15042

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 22, 2022
Online Publication Date Apr 3, 2022
Publication Date Jun 30, 2022
Deposit Date Apr 4, 2022
Publicly Available Date Apr 5, 2022
Journal Journal of Forensic Sciences
Print ISSN 0022-1198
Electronic ISSN 1556-4029
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 67
Issue 4
Pages 1697-1703
DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/1556-4029.15042
Keywords Genetics; Pathology and Forensic Medicine; beverages; colorimetric; gamma-butyrolactone; gamma-hydroxybutyrate; Red, Green, and Blue; smartphone
Public URL https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/9282890
Additional Information Received: 2022-01-15; Accepted: 2022-03-22; Published: 2022-04-03

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