Report on the analysis of common beverages spiked with gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) and gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) using NMR and the PURGE solvent-suppression technique.Forensic Sci Int. 2011 Oct 10; 212(1-3):e40-5.FS
In forensic evidence, the identification and quantitation of gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) in "spiked" beverages is challenging. In this report, we present the analysis of common alcoholic beverages found in clubs and bars spiked with gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) and gamma-butyrolactone (GBL). Our analysis of the spiked beverages consisted of using (1)H NMR with a water suppression method called Presaturation Utilizing Relaxation Gradients and Echoes (PURGE). The following beverages were analyzed: water, 10% ethanol in water, vodka-cranberry juice, rum and coke, gin and tonic, whisky and diet coke, white wine, red wine, and beer. The PURGE method allowed for the direct identification and quantitation of both compounds in all beverages except red and white wine where small interferences prevented accurate quantitation. The NMR method presented in this paper utilizes PURGE water suppression. Thanks to the use of a capillary internal standard, the method is fast, non-destructive, sensitive and requires no sample preparation which could disrupt the equilibrium between GHB and GBL.