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NIR analysis of cellulose and lactose—Application to ecstasy tablet analysis

Baer, Ines
Margot, Pierre
Published in Forensic science international. 2007, vol. 167, no. 2-3, p. 234 - 241
Abstract Cellulose and lactose are the most frequently used excipients in illicit ecstasy production. The aim of this project was to use near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) for the determination of the different chemical forms of these two substances, as well as for the differentiation of their origin (producer). It was possible to distinguish between the different chemical forms of both compounds, as well as between their origins (producers), although within limits. Furthermore, the possibilities to apply NIR for the analysis of substances such as found in illicit tablets were studied. First, a few cellulose and lactose samples were chosen to make mixtures with amphetamine at three degrees of purity (5, 10 and 15%), in order to study the resulting changes in the spectra as well as to simultaneously quantify amphetamine and identify the excipient. A PLS2 model could be build to predict concentrations and excipient. Secondarily, the technique was to be applied to real ecstasy tablets. About 40 ecstasy seizures were analysed with the aim to determine the excipient and to check them against each other. Identification of the excipients was not always obvious, especially when more than one excipient were present. However, a comparison between tablets appeared to give groups of similar samples. NIR analysis results in spectra representing the tablet blend as a whole taking into account all absorbing compounds. Although NIRS seems to be an appropriate method for ecstasy profiling, little is known about intra- and intervariability of compression batches.
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BAER, Ines, GURNY, Robert, MARGOT, Pierre. NIR analysis of cellulose and lactose—Application to ecstasy tablet analysis. In: Forensic science international, 2007, vol. 167, n° 2-3, p. 234 - 241. doi: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2006.06.056 https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:14309

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