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Sampling and Sample Processing in Pesticide Residue Analysis

Lehotay, Steven J., Cook, Jo Marie
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2015 v.63 no.18 pp. 4395-4404
food analysis, equipment, monitoring, trade, food contamination, chemical analysis, food industry, soil, pesticide residues, agrochemicals, pesticides
Proper sampling and sample processing in pesticide residue analysis of food and soil have always been essential to obtain accurate results, but the subject is becoming a greater concern as approximately 100 mg test portions are being analyzed with automated high-throughput analytical methods by agrochemical industry and contract laboratories. As global food trade and the importance of monitoring increase, the food industry and regulatory laboratories are also considering miniaturized high-throughput methods. In conjunction with a summary of the symposium “Residues in Food and Feed – Going from Macro to Micro: The Future of Sample Processing in Residue Analytical Methods” held at the 13th IUPAC International Congress of Pesticide Chemistry, this is an opportune time to review sampling theory and sample processing for pesticide residue analysis. If collected samples and test portions do not adequately represent the actual lot from which they came and provide meaningful results, then all costs, time, and efforts involved in implementing programs using sophisticated analytical instruments and techniques are wasted and can actually yield misleading results. This paper is designed to briefly review the often-neglected but crucial topic of sample collection and processing and put the issue into perspective for the future of pesticide residue analysis. It also emphasizes that analysts should demonstrate the validity of their sample processing approaches for the analytes/matrices of interest and encourages further studies on sampling and sample mass reduction to produce a test portion.