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Overcoming difficulties in the evaluation of captan and folpet residues by supercritical fluid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry

Víctor Cutillasa, Florencia Jesúsb, Carmen Ferrera and Amadeo R.Fernández-Albaa 

aEuropean Union Reference Laboratory for Pesticide Residues in Fruit & Vegetables. University of Almeria, Agrifood Campus of International Excellence (ceiA3), Ctra. Sacramento S/N°, La Cañada de San Urbano, 04120, Almería, Spain
bGrupo de Análisis de Compuestos Traza, Polo de Desarrollo Universitario “Abordaje Holístico”, CENUR Litoral Norte Sede Paysandú, Universidad de La República, Ruta 3 Km 363, 60000, Paysandú, Uruguay.


Talanta Volume 223, Part 1, 1 February 2021, 121714



Serious difficulties in evaluating the fungicides captan and folpet by the usual chromatography systems coupled to mass spectrometry are well known. These compounds are highly prone to degradation due to different conditions into tetrahydrophthalimide (THPI) and phthalimide (PHI). Such an effect can be produced at different stages of the analytical procedure or during the growing crop, making their evaluation troublesome. As a consequence, the quantification of captan and folpet is typically performed through or together these metabolites. However, imide ring metabolites can be produced by other unknown sources, including other phthalimide derived pesticides enabling false positive results. For this reason, in the last decade, laboratories demand a robust method to quantify captan and folpet, that overcomes such a situation. In the present work, various operational parameters were optimized to ensure the no degradation of captan and folpet facilitated by supercritical fluid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (SFC-MS/MS). A direct comparison with reverse-phase LC-MS/MS and GC-MS/MS was conducted for comparative purposes. The representative commodities selected for this evaluation were pepper and tomato. Furthermore, possible oxidative degradation during the sample milling step was also evaluated and avoided by the application of crio-milling conditions and ascorbic acid addition. By the proposed procedure, captan and folpet were recovered in both matrices at the 84%–105% range and with an RSD below 8% at two concentration levels: 10 and 50 μg/kg. On the contrary, with GC-MS/MS, captan and folpet were not recovered, and, as a consequence, their evaluation was possible only by THPI and PI. In the case of LC-MS/MS a significant decrease in the sensitivity was observed compared to SFC-MS/MS. Other validation parameters evaluated were satisfactory. This new approach can assess the correct analysis of captan and folpet at low concentrations in fruits and vegetables.. 


© 2020 Elsevier B.V.



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Published 13-06-2022, 15:08:40


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