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Analysis of Alkylphenols and Phthalates in Vegetables Using SPME and Comprehensive Two-dimensional Gas Chromatography

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Background: Food comes into contact with many chemicals during cultivation and storage, such as alkylphenols and phthalates. These compounds can bring harm to human health and therefore its residual quantification in food is needed.

Methods: In this study, a new method for determination of 4-octylphenol, 4-tert-octylphenol, 4-nonylphenol, 4-tert-butylphenol, dibutylphthalate and benzylbutylphthalate was developed using solid phase microextraction and comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography with flame ionization detection. Alkylphenols and phthalates were determined in commercially available frozen samples of carrots, potatoes, and corn.

Results: The calibration curve was constructed in concentrations ranging from 0.5 to 6.0 μg L-1 for 4-tert-butylphenol, 4- nonylphenol, 4-octylphenol and benzylbutylphthalate and 0.2 to 6.0 μg L-1 for dibutylphthalate and 4-tert-octylphenol. The limits of detection ranged from 0.07 to 0.32 μg kg-1. The compounds 4-tert-octylphenol, dibutylphthalate and benzylbutylphthalate were found in carrot samples in concentrations that ranged from 0.4 to 2.5 μg kg-1. Dibutylphthalate was found in one corn sample in concentrations of 0.6 μg kg-1. None of the targeted compounds were found in potato samples.

Conclusion: The developed method allows the quantification of alkylphenols and phthalates in low concentrations, and is therefore a good alternative to analysis of the studied compounds in vegetables samples.
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Keywords: Alkylphenols; SPME; comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography; endocrine disrupting chemicals; phthalates; vegetables

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2018

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