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Rapid Determination of Nineteen Chlorophenols in Wood, Paper, Cardboard, Fruits, and Fruit Juices by Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry

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Although the use of pentachlorophenol (PCP) is prohibited in most countries, it is still widely found in the wood of pallets, containers, crates and in cardboard, paper, etc. Such material may contain not only PCP but other chlorophenols as well. Wooden crates and cardboard boxes are often used to store and transport fresh fruits. Consequently, chlorophenols present in the wood may contaminate the stored fruits by migration. To ascertain that packaging, storage material, and fruit raw materials are free from chlorophenol residues, we developed a rapid and sensitive method for the detection of 19 chlorophenols by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). The test portions are directly extracted and acetylated in a solution of sodium carbonate in the presence of acetic anhydride and hexane. The hexane layer is analyzed, without further purification, by GC/MS in the selective-ion monitoring mode. The method allows the analysis of >40 samples/day with detection limits of <20 μg/kg for chlorophenols in wood, cardboard, and paper, and <2 μg/kg for chlorophenols in fruits. Typical recoveries of all chlorophenols were 94% from paper, 115% from cardboard, 51% from wood (depending on the size of the chips or shavings), and 93% from fruit puree.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Nestlé Research Center, Quality & Safety Assurance Department, 1000 Lausanne 26, Switzerland.

Publication date: 2001-05-01

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL publishes refereed papers and reviews in the fields of chemical, biological and toxicological analytical chemistry for the purpose of showcasing the most precise, accurate and sensitive methods for analysis of foods, food additives, supplements and contaminants, cosmetics, drugs, toxins, hazardous substances, pesticides, feeds, fertilizers and the environment available at that point in time. The scope of the Journal includes unpublished original research describing new analytical methods, techniques and applications; improved approaches to sampling, both in the field and the laboratory; better methods of preparing samples for analysis; collaborative studies substantiating the performance of a given method; statistical techniques for evaluating data. The Journal will also publish other articles of general interest to its audience, e.g., technical communications; cautionary notes; comments on techniques, apparatus, and reagents.
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