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Assessment of sample cleanup and matrix effects in the pesticide residue analysis of foods using postcolumn infusion in liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry

Journal of Chromatography A
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.chroma.2011.09.054
  • Pesticides
  • Quechers
  • Matrix Effects
  • Postcolumn Infusion
  • Lc–Ms/Ms
  • Sample Preparation


Abstract Matrix effect profiles can be used to visualize the effect of the sample matrix to the data signals occurring in a chromatogram. In the present study these profiles were generated by postcolumn infusion of a standard pesticide mix with extracts of different food matrices prepared by the QuEChERS method. Complete raw extracts as well as individual clean-up steps were analyzed. This allowed for a detailed comparison of the interferences caused by the matrix effects from various food samples. It also gave an idea about the efficiency of matrix reduction processes. When analyzing the individual clean-up extracts of the QuEChERS method just a slight reduction of matrix effects could be observed from step to step. Matrices causing strong signal effects in the results of the raw extracts also have strong effects after the final clean-up step. Some of the components responsible for the matrix effects show an extremely high retention time. After the injection of extracts from rocket or different types of tea, significant ion suppressions occurred even after rinsing the analytical column for a long time. The experiments have shown that similar matrices can produce different matrix effect profiles. For example, for black teas and green teas significantly different matrix effect profiles were obtained, while the matrix effects of teas within one of these groups were exactly the same. Analogous results could be found for citrus fruits. In order to overcome interfering matrix effects, analytical systems equipped with different electrospray ion sources were tested. Furthermore, profiles of diluted food extracts were generated. Dilution led to a significant decrease in the matrix effects.

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