DOI: 10.1093/jaoac/86.2.412 ISSN:

Fast and Easy Multiresidue Method Employing Acetonitrile Extraction/Partitioning and “Dispersive Solid-Phase Extraction” for the Determination of Pesticide Residues in Produce

Michelangelo Anastassiades, Steven J Lehotay, Darinka Štajnbaher, Frank J Schenck
  • Pharmacology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Food Science
  • Analytical Chemistry


A simple, fast, and inexpensive method for the determination of pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables is introduced. The procedure involves initial single-phase extraction of 10 g sample with 10 mL acetonitrile, followed by liquid–liquid partitioning formed by addition of 4 g anhydrous MgSO4 plus 1 g NaCl. Removal of residual water and cleanup are performed simultaneously by using a rapid procedure called dispersive solid-phase extraction (dispersive-SPE), in which 150 mg anhydrous MgSO4 and 25 mg primary secondary amine (PSA) sorbent are simply mixed with 1 mL acetonitrile extract. The dispersive-SPE with PSA effectively removes many polar matrix components, such as organic acids, certain polar pigments, and sugars, to some extent from the food extracts. Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) is then used for quantitative and confirmatory analysis of GC-amenable pesticides. Recoveries between 85 and 101% (mostly >95%) and repeatabilities typically <5% have been achieved for a wide range of fortified pesticides, including very polar and basic compounds such as methamidophos, acephate, omethoate, imazalil, and thiabendazole. Using this method, a single chemist can prepare a batch of 6 previously chopped samples in <30 min with approximately $1 (U.S.) of materials per sample.

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