Multi-residue screening of pesticides in vegetables, fruits and baby food by stir bar sorptive extraction-thermal desorption-capillary gas chromatography-mass spectrometry
The performance of stir bar sorptive extraction (SBSE) for the enrichment of pesticides from vegetables, fruits and baby food samples is discussed. After extraction with methanol, an aliquot is diluted with water and SBSE is performed for 60 min. By applying a new thermal desorption unit (TDU), fully automated and unattended desorption of 98 stir bars is feasible, making SBSE very cost-effective. The presence of pesticide residues is elucidated with the retention time locked gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy method (RTL-capillary GC-MS). With SBSE-RTL-capillary GC-MS operated in the scan mode, more than 300 pesticides can be monitored in vegetables, fruits and baby food. The multi-residue method (MRM) described provides detectabilities from the mg/kg (ppm) to the sub-μg/kg (ppb) level, thereby complying with the maximum residue levels (MRLs) set by regulatory organizations for pesticides in different matrices. Several examples, i.e. pesticide residues in lettuce, pears, grapes and baby food, illustrate the potential of SBSE-RTL-capillary GC-MS. © 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.