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Fast, Practical, and Effective Approach for the Analysis of Hazardous Chemicals in the Food Supply

Lehotay, Steven
USDA - Agricultural Research Service
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The overall goal of this project is to expand the quick, easy, cheap, effective, rugged, and safe (QuEChERS) method for pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables to other commodities and types of residues (veterinary drugs and environmental contaminants), and to further customize and evaluate supersonic molecular beam mass spectrometry at Tel Aviv University.
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The QuEChERS method provides clean extracts for hundreds of pesticides in a variety of fruits and vegetables, and it can be performed by a single analyst using <$1 of materials per sample while taking only 30-40 min to prepare a batch of 6-12 samples.

This novel approach will be expanded and refined in the ARS laboratory for the analysis of veterinary drugs and environmental contaminants. The co-investigator, Prof. Aviv Amirav of Tel Aviv University, will further develop and evaluate the novel instrumental approach of analysis using gas and liquid chromatography with supersonic molecular beam mass spectrometry. This instrument extends the range of thermally labile pesticides and drugs amenable for analysis and enables faster analysis with superior sample identification.

This project will extend the QuEChERS approach to more pesticides, veterinary drugs and pollutants, combining it with GC-SMB-MS and LC-SMB-EI-MS to hazardous chemicals in food.

The combination of the novel and advanced instrumentation and monitoring method will enable vastly reduced time and cost of analysis, increased analytical scope, and a higher monitoring rate, thus providing better enforcement, improved food safety and security, increased trade, and greater consumer confidence in the food supply.

Funding Source
Agricultural Research Service
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Pesticide Residues
Food Defense and Integrity