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A new method for pesticides identification: fast GC/time-of-flight mass spectrometry


Pesticides have been widely used all over the world. Although the use of pesticides is strictly regulated in many countries, laboratories still monitor their residues due to their toxicity and highly persistent nature. The most common method for pesticides identification is GC/MS with select ion monitoring (SIM). Since most of samples contain many different components, a long GC separation is generally needed when a low-resolution SIM MS is used. This is very time-consuming. Fast GC has been available for several years; however, the combination of fast GC with mass spectrometry had not been commercially available until high acquisition rate time-of-flight mass spectrometry was introduced. Here, we describe a new method by using fast GC/time-of-flight MS to identify 67 pesticides. The high resolution time-of-flight MS always yields high quality library searchable spectrums without compromising the sensitivity. The method is simple, fast, and reliable.


All solvents used were of HPLC grade. The pesticide standards used are listed in Table 1. They were prepared in ethyl acetate with concentration of 100 ppb.

An Agilent 6890N gas chromatograph was used. Samples were injected onto an HP-5MS capillary column (10 x 0.18 mm, 0.18 μm film thickness) with splitless injection mode. Helium was used as the carrier gas and set at 0.6 mL/min. The injector temperature was set at 200°C. The oven temperature was held at 40°C for 1 min and then increased to 300°C at a rate of 50°C/min.

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