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Determination of chlorothalonil in difficult-to-analyse vegetable matrices using various multiresidue methods

N. Belmonte Valles, M. Retamal, M. A. Martınez-Uroz, M. Mezcua, A. R. Fernandez-Alba and A. de Kok.

Analyst, 2012, 137, 2513


The molecular characteristics of chlorothalonil can cause particular determination difficulties in some vegetable commodities such as leek or garlic. These difficulties are mainly related to the low recoveries obtained using common multi-residue methods (MRMs) - a consequence of the very high interaction level with natural components in the matrix. These shortcomings were pointed out in the last European Proficiency Test for Pesticide Residues on Fruits and Vegetables, where false negatives for chlorothalonil in leek were observed at around 50%. In this study we have evaluated the ethyl acetate, the Dutch mini-Luke and the QuEChERS MRMs to compare their capabilities for chlorothalonil determination using GC-MS/MS in both the electron impact ionization (EI) and negative chemical ionization (NCI) modes. Best recoveries (in the range of 100-120%, with an RSD below 20%) were obtained using the Dutch mini-Luke method. Lower values (52-70%) were obtained for ethyl acetate whereas no recovery was obtained when the QuEChERS method was applied. Furthermore, tomato matrix was also included in the experiments in order to facilitate the comparability of results. Two ionization modes, electron impact ionization (EI) and negative chemical ionization (NCI) in GC-MS/MS, were applied to evaluate their respective advantages and disadvantages for quantification and identification. As expected, NCI showed limits of detection (LODs) 5 to 10 times lower than EI. However, in both cases, the LODs were still below 10 mg kg1. The proposed optimal method was applied for chlorothalonil determination in leek and garlic with good results - in accordance with the European Union (EU) Analytical Quality Control (AQC) Guidelines for pesticides analysis.

© Analyst-The Royal Society of Chemistry 2012


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Published 16-04-2012, 13:10:22

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