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Validation of a Fast and Easy Method for the Determination of Residues from 229 Pesticides in Fruits and Vegetables Using Gas and Liquid Chromatography and Mass Spectrometric Detection

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Validation experiments were conducted of a simple, fast, and inexpensive method for the determination of 229 pesticides fortified at 10–100 ng/g in lettuce and orange matrixes. The method is known as the quick, easy, cheap, effective, rugged, and safe (QuEChERS) method for pesticide residues in foods. The procedure involved the extraction of a 15 g sample with 15 mL acetonitrile, followed by a liquid–liquid partitioning step performed by adding 6 g anhydrous MgSO4 plus 1.5 g NaCl. After centrifugation, the extract was decanted into a tube containing 300 mg primary secondary amine (PSA) sorbent plus 1.8 g anhydrous MgSO4, which constituted a cleanup procedure called dispersive solid-phase extraction (dispersive SPE). After a second shaking and centrifugation step, the acetonitrile extract was transferred to autosampler vials for concurrent analysis by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry with an ion trap instrument and liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry with a triple quadrupole instrument using electrospray ionization. Each analytical method was designed to analyze 144 pesticides, with 59 targeted by both instruments. Recoveries for all but 11 of the analytes in at least one of the matrixes were between 70–120% (90–110% for 206 pesticides), and repeatabilities typically <10% were achieved for a wide range of fortified pesticides, including methamidophos, spinosad, imidacloprid, and imazalil. Dispersive SPE with PSA retained carboxylic acids (e.g., daminozide), and <50% recoveries were obtained for asulam, pyridate, dicofol, thiram, and chlorothalonil. Many actual samples and proficiency test samples were analyzed by the method, and the results compared favorably with those from traditional methods.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Eastern Regional Research Center, 600 East Mermaid Ln, Wyndmoor, PA 19038. 2: Dutch Food and Consumer Products Safety Authority–Food Inspection Service (VWA-KvW), Region North West, Research and Development Department, Pesticide Analysis Group, Hoogte Kadijk 401, 1018 BK Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Publication date: 2005-03-01

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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