Author(s): GarcaReyes JF, Jackson AU, MolinaDaz A, Cooks RG
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Abstract Desorption electrospray ionization (DESI) is applied to the rapid, in situ, direct qualitative and quantitative (ultra)trace analysis of agrochemicals in foodstuffs. To evaluate the potential of DESI mass spectrometry (MS) in toxic residue testing in food, 16 representative multiclass agricultural chemicals (pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides) were selected (namely, ametryn, amitraz, azoxystrobin, bitertanol, buprofezin, imazalil, imazalil metabolite, isofenphos-methyl, malathion, nitenpyram, prochloraz, spinosad, terbuthylazine, thiabendazole, and thiacloprid). The DESI-MS experiments were performed using 3 microL of solution spotted onto conventional smooth poly(tetrafluoroethylene) (PTFE) surfaces, with examination by MS and tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) using an ion trap mass spectrometer. Optimization of the spray solvent led to the use of acetonitrile/water (80:20) (v/v), with 1\% formic acid. Most of the compounds tested showed remarkable sensitivity in the positive ion mode, approaching that attainable with conventional direct infusion electrospray mass spectrometry. To evaluate the potential of the proposed approach in real samples, different experiments were performed including the direct DESI-MS/MS analysis of fruit peels and also of fruit/vegetable extracts. The results proved that DESI allows the detection and confirmation of traces of agrochemicals in actual market-purchased samples. In addition, MS/MS confirmation of selected pesticides in spiked vegetable extracts was obtained at absolute levels as low as 1 pg for ametryn. Quantitation of imazalil residues was also undertaken using an isotopically labeled standard. The data obtained were in agreement with those from the liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS) reference method, with relative standard deviation (RSD) values consistently below 15\%. The results obtained demonstrate the sensitivity of DESI as they meet the stringent European Union pesticide regulation requirements (maximum residue levels) for a large percentage of the studied compounds.
This article was published in Anal Chem
and referenced in Journal of Analytical & Bioanalytical Techniques