Pesticide analysis in juice – Why one technique doesn’t suit all
GC/MS and LC/MS are both useful techniques for the detection and quantification of pesticides in difficult matrixes such as fruit juices; however, each has their own advantages and limitations. Here we analyse 39 pesticides in fruit juice using a combination of GC/MS, GC/MS/MS, and LC/MS/MS and present results that highlight the need for different approaches for different compounds. In order to meet tight regulations in food safety testing, food testing laboratories should employ a variety of techniques to ensure pesticides may be detected at levels below established maximum residue levels (MRLs).
A truly global food industry requires stringent regulations and monitoring to ensure that food is safe for human consumption. This includes regulating and monitoring a large number of pesticides, and setting strict limits on levels permitted in food. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established tolerance for approximately 400 pesticides (1); these are enforced by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (2). The European Union has MRLs for food for human consumption and animal feed (3). Levels very, but are typically around 10 parts per billion (ppb).
The availability of hundreds of pesticides and strict limits for each means that food testing laboratories must be equipped to detect and quantify a huge range of pesticides within a number of difficult matrices. Several approaches exist but, due to wide variations in the chemical properties of pesticide contaminants and the necessity to detect a very large number of compounds, it is impossible to select a single approach to suit all needs. Depending on the pesticide(s) and matrix to be analysed, a different approach may be preferred.
GC/MS (gas chromatography-sing ...