Pesticide Residue Analysis: European Perspective
Thermo Scientific’s Dionex Integrion HPIC (high pressure ion chromatography) system, introduced globally on Feb. 1, 2016, is making an impact in the food industry with its high-pressure capabilities that enable fast analysis without compromising data quality, according to Khalil Divan, PhD, director of marketing, food and beverage, for Thermo Fisher Scientific, Waltham, Mass.
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“Ion chromatography offers targeted analysis and excels in analyzing ionic and polar pesticides, such as glyphosate, glufosinate, and chlorate, which are not amenable to common multi-residue gas and liquid chromatography methods,” Dr. Divan relates. “Developments in technology have enabled the use of IC-MS/MS (mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry) for pesticide analysis, specifically highly polar pesticides, thermally unstable compounds and low volatility compounds.”
“By coupling ion chromatography analysis on the Thermo Scientific Integrion HPIC system with the company’s Q Exactive Orbitrap mass spectrometer, we are able to perform multi-residue analysis of very polar pesticides without derivatization steps before the analysis,” says Amadeo Fernández-Alba, PhD, professor and director of the European Union Reference Laboratory for Pesticide Residues in Fruit & Vegetables at the University of Almeria, Spain. “Also, the combination of technologies means that no isotopically labelled standards are necessary for quantitation. Simultaneous MS and MS/MS analysis results in a sufficient number of ions for identification and quantitation with very stable retention times.”
Launched in the U.S. on June 1, 2015, the Thermo Scientific Q Exactive GC (gas chromatography) system brings Orbitrap GC-MS technology to the routine lab for the first time, Dr. Divan says. “It is an easy-to-use, dedicated GC-MS system that we believe provides an unprecedented level of highly sensitive, routine-grade performance for both targeted and non-targeted analysis, along with high confidence quantitation for the ultimate sample analysis workflow,” he mentions. “This is achieved through the superior resolving power, mass accuracy, linear dynamic range and sensitivity that Orbitrap technology delivers, combined with the intelligent data processing workflows provided by Thermo Scientific TraceFinder software.”
“At RIKILT, we have been developing and validating an Exactive GC method for analyzing a large number of pesticides in fruits, vegetables, cereals and feed ingredients,” says Hans Mol, PhD, natural toxins and pesticides group leader with the RIKILT Institute of Food Safety at Wageningen University & Research, Netherlands. “We have found the Exactive GC to be a suitable technology that can meet the requirements of the European SANTE guidelines for this type of analysis. Moreover, Orbitrap GC-MS allows for an easier way of screening and quantifying a large number of pesticides in a wide variety of food samples by offering a high-selectivity, non-targeted data acquisition workflow.”—L.L.L.