Anisatin in Sterrenmix

By order of RIKILT, an international research institute for the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, KAIN coordinated the development of a method for the analysis of anisatin in Sterrenmix.

In 2002 consumption of this herbal tea mix led to the poisoning of dozens of people in the Netherlands. The reason given was that Japanese star anise (illicium anisatum and/or shikimi) had been used as an ingredient instead of the Chinese variety. The Japanese variety contains about 1000 mg/kg of the toxic substance anisatin.
The research resulted in an improved, more robust method based on Accelerated Solvent Extraction and LC-MS/MS analysis. The method was subsequently validated in various matrices.