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Analysis of pesticide residues in melon using QuEChERS extraction and liquid chromatography triple quadrupole mass spectrometry

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A rapid, precise and efficient method for the determination of seven insecticides (chlorpyrifos, dimethoate, deltamethrin, thiamethoxam, thiacloprid, pirimicarb and indoxacarb) and three fungicides (azoxystrobin, fluopicolide and propamocarb hydrochloride) in melon by employing quick, easy, cheap, effective, rugged and safe extraction method coupled with liquid chromatography triple quadrupole mass spectrometry was developed and validated by evaluating the accuracy, precision, linearity, limit of detection (LOD) and limit of quantification (LOQ). The average recoveries of the selected pesticides ranged from 82% to 106% with RSDr ≤6% in four fortification levels of 0.01, 0.05, 0.1 and 0.2 mg/kg. The correlation coefficient (R 2) was ≥0.997 for all the selected pesticides when matrix-matched calibration standards were used. The LOD values ranged from 0.001 to 0.003 mg/kg, and the LOQ was determined at 0.01 mg/kg for all the analytes. Matrix effect was evaluated, and it was found considerable for thiamethoxam and deltamethrin (−53% and +135%, respectively). Finally, this method was applied for the residue analysis of 122 fresh melon samples collected from different market places in Thessaloniki, Greece. Among the 122 analysed samples, 32 (26% of the total no. of samples) were found to have pesticide residues. None of the samples contained residues above the European Union-Maximum Residue Levels. The most frequently detected pesticides were fluopicolide and thiamethoxam.
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Keywords: LC/ESI-MS/MS; QuEChERS; fungicides; insecticides; melon

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Pesticide Science Laboratory, School of Agriculture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, 54124, Greece

Publication date: October 21, 2015

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