Volume 39, Issue 6 (November 1994)
Detection and Determination of Pseudococaine in Coca Leaves and Illicit Cocaine Samples
Methodology is presented for the isolation, identification and determination of pseudococaine in coca leaves and illicit cocaine. Coca leaves, crude cocaine base (coca paste), refined cocaine base and refined cocaine hydrochloride, all derived from the same geographic location in Bolivia, were examined. Pseudococaine and other coca alkaloids were isolated from leaf samples using toluene extraction followed by acid/Celite trap and ion-pair column chromatography, and from crude and refined cocaine samples by acid/Celite column ion-pairing chromatography. Mass spectral analysis of coca leaf isolates confirmed the presence of pseudococaine. Pseudococaine was quantified by capillary gas chromatography with flame ionization detection at levels of 0.0001–0.035% (relative to cocaine) in refined illicit cocaine and coca leaves.