Comprehensive multi-residue method for the target analysis of pesticides in crops using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.J Chromatogr A. 2007 Jun 22; 1154(1-2):3-25.JC
A liquid chromatography-tandem quadrupole mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) multi-residue method for the simultaneous target analysis of a wide range of pesticides and metabolites in fruit, vegetables and cereals has been developed. Gradient elution has been used in conjunction with positive mode electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry to detect up to 171 pesticides and/or metabolites in different crop matrices using a single chromatographic run. Pesticide residues were extracted/partitioned from the samples with acetone/dichloromethane/light petroleum. The analytical performance was demonstrated by the analysis of extracts from lettuce, orange, apple, cabbage, grape and wheat flour, spiked at three concentration levels ranging from 0.01 to 0.10 mg/kg for each pesticide and/or metabolite. In general, recoveries ranging from 70 to 110%, with relative standard deviations better than 15%, were obtained. The recovery and repeatability data are in good accordance with EU guidelines for pesticide residue analysis. The limit of quantification for all targeted pesticides and metabolites tested was 0.01 mg/kg. The selectivity and robustness of the LC-MS/MS method was demonstrated by a 1-year comparison of its analytical results with those obtained from our validated GC and LC multi-residue methods applied to more than 3500 routine samples. The validated LC-MS/MS method has been implemented in our analytical scheme since 2004, replacing four of the conventional detection methods, i.e. GC-flame-photometric detection (acephate, methamidophos, etc.), GC-nitrogen-phosphorus detection, LC-UV detection (carbendazim, thiabendazole, imazalil and prochloraz) and LC-fluorescence detection (N-methylcarbamate pesticides). During a 3-year period, the LC-MS/MS method has been applied to the analyses of more than 12,000 samples.