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Further improvements in pesticide residue analysis in food by applying gas chromatography triple quadrupole mass spectrometry (GC-QqQ-MS/MS) technologies

Hakme, Elena, Lozano, Ana, Uclés, Samanta, Fernández-Alba, Amadeo R.
Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry 2018 v.410 no.22 pp. 5491-5506
food law, fruits, gas chromatography, mass spectrometry, multiresidue analysis, ovens, pesticide residues, pesticides, risk assessment, temperature, vegetables
Nowadays, the control of pesticide residues in food is well established. The capacity of triple quadrupole technology to satisfy the current food regulations has been demonstrated. However, the permanent high demand of consumers for more sensitive and faster testing is driving the development of improved analytical methodologies that increase the performances of sensitivity and robustness and reduce the analysis time. In this work, the feasibility of decreasing the run time to 12.4 min by modifying the oven temperature program, for a multiresidue method covering 203 pesticides, was evaluated. Satisfactory sensitivity results were achieved by reaching a limit of quantitation of 2 μg kg⁻¹ for a great variety of fruits and vegetables. The validated method based on updated GC-QqQ-MS/MS has confirmed the abovementioned challenges with adequate robustness by its application to routine analyses for 69 real samples. The proposed method can represent great benefit for laboratories as it allows increasing samples throughput. It is also very useful for risk assessment studies, where the needs of low reporting limits and very wide analytical scope are necessary.