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Analysis of Pesticides in Spinach using Triple-Quadrupole GC-MSMS

Introduction

The introduction of pesticides to improve agricultural productivity has led to a marked change in how crops are grown. However, certain pesticides have been linked to a number of health issues. As such, regulatory agencies all over the world have placed restrictions on the types and levels of pesticides that can be used for agriculture. Accordingly, food samples need to be tested for pesticide content to meet regulatory requirements. Triple-quadrupole gas chromatograph tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS) is widely used for pesticide analysis due to the sensitivity and specificity of the technique. The specificity offered by GC-MS/MS is excellent for analysis of samples with complex matrices. One such food example is spinach. Spinach frequently makes the Environmental Working Group’s “dirty dozen,” a list of fruits and vegetables ranked according to high pesticide content[1]. This makes spinach a good target for testing the capabilities of the JMS-TQ4000GC triple-quadrupole GC-MS/MS.

In this app note, we demonstrate the ability of the JMSTQ4000GC to measure the pesticide content of spinach samples purchased from local grocers. The sensitivity and specificity offered by selected reaction monitoring (SRM) will be used against a complex spinach extract matrix, including matrixmatched standard samples.

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