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Evaluation of Two Fast and Easy Methods for Pesticide Residue Analysis in Fatty Food Matrixes

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Two rapid methods of sample preparation and analysis of fatty foods (e.g., milk, eggs, and avocado) were evaluated and compared for 32 pesticide residues representing a wide range of physicochemical properties. One method, dubbed the quick, easy, cheap, effective, rugged, and safe (QuEChERS) method for pesticide residue analysis, entailed extraction of 15 g sample with 15 mL acetonitrile (MeCN) containing 1% acetic acid followed by addition of 6 g anhydrous magnesium sulfate and 1.5 g sodium acetate. After centrifugation, 1 mL of the buffered MeCN extract underwent a cleanup step (in a technique known as dispersive solid-phase extraction) using 50 mg each of C18 and primary secondary amine sorbents plus 150 mg MgSO4. The second method incorporated a form of matrix solid-phase dispersion (MSPD), in which 0.5 g sample plus 2 g C18 and 2 g anhydrous sodium sulfate was mixed in a mortar and pestle and added above a 2 g Florisil column on a vacuum manifold. Then, 5 × 2 mL MeCN was used to elute the pesticide analytes from the sample into a collection tube, and the extract was concentrated to 0.5 mL by evaporation. Extracts in both methods were analyzed concurrently by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry. The recoveries of semi-polar and polar pesticides were typically 100% in both methods (except that basic pesticides, such as thiabendazole and imazalil, were not recovered in the MSPD method), but recovery of nonpolar pesticides decreased as fat content of the sample increased. This trend was more pronounced in the QuEChERS method, in which case the most lipophilic analyte tested, hexachlorobenzene, gave 27 ± 1% recovery (n = 6) in avocado (15% fat) with a <10 ng/g limit of quantitation.

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: National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, 480 Anyang 6-dong Manangu Anyangsi, Gyeonggido, 430-824, Republic of Korea.

Publication date: March 1, 2005

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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