Multi-Residue Pesticides Screening and Quantitation in Complex Food Matrices Using Ultivo Triple Quadrupole LC/MS

Poster Presentation

Prepared by D. Yang1, T. Anumol2, T. Sosienski1
1 - Agilent Technologies, 5301 Stevens Creek Boulevard, Santa Clara, CA, 95051, United States
2 - Agilent Technologies, 2850 Centerville Rd, Wilmington, DE, 19808, United States

Contact Information: [email protected]; 408-553-7091


Pesticides are vital to crop production, but can be toxic if consumed in harmful doses. Regulatory agencies have set maximum residue levels (MRL) for hundreds of pesticides and their metabolites in foods. Most MRLs are set at low ppb levels, which poses significant challenges for screening and quantifying hundreds of analytes simultaneously in complex food matrices. In this method, we demonstrate the screening and quantitation of 246 pesticides using Ultivo triple quadrupole LC/MS. Orange, avocado, broccoli and black tea matrices were extracted using EN QuEChERS kits. A new EMR-Lipid kit was used for the avocado sample preparation to remove excess amounts of fat. The chromatographic method consisted of using 3.0 x 150mm, 1.8Ám C-18 column, with 4.5mM ammonium formate, 0.5mM ammonium fluoride, and 0.1% formic acid as additives in water and methanol mobile phases. A dynamic MRM method with fast polarity switching was employed to have optimal dwell times for analytes in a narrow time window, with 2-4 MRMs per analyte. This could be accomplished due to retention time stability provided by the high-quality LC system and analytical column. Most of the pesticides could be accurately quantified far below MRLs with high precision (%RSD < 20%).