Residue analysis of four diacylhydrazine insecticides in fruits and vegetables by Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effective, Rugged, and Safe (QuEChERS) method using ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry.

Research paper by Xingang X Liu, Jun J Xu, Fengshou F Dong, Yuanbo Y Li, Wenchen W Song, Yongquan Y Zheng

Indexed on: 11 Jun '11Published on: 11 Jun '11Published in: Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry


The new analytical method using Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effective, Rugged, and Safe (QuEChERS) procedure for simultaneous determination of diacylhydrazine insecticide residues in fruits and vegetables was developed using ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS). The four insecticides (tebufenozide, methoxfenozide, chromafenozide, and halofenozide) were extracted from six fruit and vegetable matrices using acetonitrile and subsequently cleaned up using primary secondary amine (PSA) or octadecylsilane (C18) as sorbent prior to UPLC-MS/MS analysis. The determination of the target compounds was achieved in less than 3.0 min using an electrospray ionization source in positive mode (ESI+) for tebufenozide, methoxfenozide, and halofenozide and in negative mode (ESI-) for chromafenozide. The limits of detection were below 0.6 μg kg(-1), while the limit of quantification did not exceed 2 μg kg(-1) in different matrices. The QuEChERS procedure by using two sorbents (PSA and C18) and the matrix-matched standards gave satisfactory recoveries and relative standard deviation (RSD) values in different matrices at four spiked levels (0.01, 0.05, 0.1, and 1 mg kg(-1)). The overall average recoveries for this method in apple, grape, cucumber, tomato, cabbage, and spinach at four levels ranged from 74.2% to 112.5% with RSDs in the range of 1.4-13.8% (n = 5) for all analytes. This study provides a theoretical basis for China to draw up maximum residue limits and analytical method for diacylhydrazine insecticide in vegetables and fruits.