A rapid and simple scheme has been developed for the isolation and purification of two of the major mutagenic heterocyclic amines formed in heated beef products by affinity chromatography using monoclonal antibodies which recognize 2-amino-3-methylimidazo(4,5-f]quinoline (IQ). Two cell lines producing IgG antibodies were established following fusion of Sp2 or P3x.63 myeloma cells with spleen cells of immunized BALB/cby mice. The antigen was bovine gamma globulin haptenized with 2-(3-carboxypropylthio)-3-methylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoline. The antibodies were immobilized on CNBr-activated Sepharose 4B. IQ and MeIQx formed in heated beef products were partially purified by XAD-2 chromatography and then applied to the affinity columns. Purification by affinity chromatography was adequate for subsequent quantitative analysis by HPLC with UV detection. With this purification scheme as little as 1 g of beef extract or 15 g of fried beef could be assayed for IQ and MeIQx at the part per billion level. Both antibodies had similar affinity constants for IQ (9.3 × 106 and 6.7 × 106 M-1) and for MeIQx (7.1 × 105 and 2.7 × 105 M-1) and both were suitable for immunoaffinity purification of IQ from complex mixtures. MAb2 could be used as well to selectively remove MeIQx from meat products after partial purification by XAD-2. MAb1, despite having a 3-fold higher affinity than MAb2 for MeIQx, could not be used for affinity chromatography for this mutagen.