[Simultaneous determination of 40 plant growth regulators, fungicides, insecticides, and antibiotics in bean sprouts by QuEChERS-high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry].Se Pu. 2022 Sep; 40(9):843-853.SP
Chromatography combined with mass spectrometry is the most commonly used detection technology, and it offers the advantages of high sensitivity and high selectivity. The quick, easy, inexpensive, effective, rugged, and safe (QuEChERS) method is low-cost, effective, and time efficient. The application of the QuEChERS has now been extended to the analysis of contaminants in food samples. The aim of the study was to identify different concentration levels of multiple harmful drug residues in bean sprouts. In this study, QuEChERS coupled with high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS) was established for the simultaneous determination of 40 plant growth regulators, fungicides, insecticides, and antibiotics in bean sprouts. In the HPLC-MS/MS experiment, gibberellic acid, 4-fluorophenoxyacetic acid, chloramphenicol, N6-(δ2-isopentenyl)-adenine, 6-benzylaminopurine, 4-chlorophenoxyacetic acid, and 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) were analyzed by MS/MS with negative electrospray ionization (ESI-). The other 33 target analytes (chlormequat, ronidazole, metronidazole, pymetrozine, dimetridazole, methomyl, carbendazim, enoxacin, levofloxacin, pefloxacin mesylate, norfloxacin, ciprofloxacin, enrofloxacin, thiabendazole, lomefloxacin, chlorpyrifos, sarafloxacin, imidacloprid, etc.) were analyzed by MS/MS with positive electrospray ionization (ESI+). Sensitive MS conditions were realized by optimizing the instrumental parameters such as the desolvent temperature, collision energy, spraying needle position, precursor ions, and product ions. Then, the optimal pretreatment method was determined by comparing the recovery rates of the 40 drugs obtained with different extraction solvents (methanol, acetonitrile, acetonitrile containing 0.1% ammonia, acetonitrile with 1% acetic acid), different extraction methods (ultrasonic extraction, shaking extraction), and purification with primary secondary amine (PSA) and C18. In this study, the bean sprouts samples were extracted twice by 10 mL acetonitrile with 1% acetic acid, and extracted under ultrasonic conditions. Then, the extracting solution was only cleaned with 100 mg C18. The chromatographic separation of the 40 compounds was accomplished on a Waters ACQUITY UPLC BEH C18 column (100 mm×2.1 mm, 1.7 μm) with gradient elution. Methanol and 0.01% formic acid aqueous solution were used as the mobile phases. The 40 compounds were analyzed in the multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) mode. The matrix matching external standard method was used for quantitative determination. The results showed that the 40 compounds could be analyzed within 15 min. Under the optimized conditions, the calibration curves showed good linearities for the 40 compounds, and the coefficients of determination (r2) were greater than 0.99 in the range of 2-200 μg/L. The limits of detection (LODs) and limits of quantification (LOQs) were in the range of 0.1-3 μg/kg and 0.3-9 μg/kg, respectively. Using negative bean sprouts as the substrates, the recovery tests were carried out at three spiked levels of 5, 10, and 50 μg/kg. The average recoveries of the 40 drugs were 78.5% to 115.3%, and the corresponding relative standard deviations (RSDs) were 1.3% to 9.7% (n=6). This method was successfully applied to the analysis of the 40 drug residues in 21 batches of local bean sprouts in Handan city. The results revealed the presence of extensive drug residues in the bean sprouts. The 26 batches were detected to varying degrees, among which 4-chlorophenoxyacetic acid, carbendazim, 6-benzyladenine, 2,4-D, enrofloxacin, and metronidazole were detected at high rates. The detection rates of 4-chlorophenoxyacetic acid, 6-benzyladenine, carbendazim, 2,4-D, gibberellic acid, and enrofloxacin were 28.6%, 19.0%, 9.5%, 9.5%, 4.8%, and 4.8%, respectively. The contents ranged from 37.5-352.4, 32.4-273.1, 28.8-38.7, 316.1-20.2, 19.9 and 13.6 μg/kg, respectively. Given its advantages of simplicity, rapidness, and high sensitivity, the developed method can be used for the rapid and accurate determination of trace levels of the 40 drug residues in large quantities of bean sprouts.