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J Chromatogr A. 2002 Oct 11;973(1-2):13-26.

Alternative calibration approaches to compensate the effect of co-extracted matrix components in liquid chromatography-electrospray ionisation tandem mass spectrometry analysis of pesticide residues in plant materials.

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  • 1Institute of Chemical Technology, Technická 3, Prague, Czech Republic.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the applicability of different calibration approaches in a multi- and single-residue analysis of modern pesticides in plant matrices using liquid chromatography-electrospray mass spectrometry (HPLC-ESI-MS). In the first set of experiments the determination of eight pesticides representing different groups of polar/unstable pesticides (carbamates, benzimidazoles, azoles, benzoylphenylurea) in apple samples was performed. The trueness and precision of data obtained by using: (i) external solvent standard calibration, (ii) external matrix-matched standard calibration and (iii) echo-peak internal standard calibration was compared. The last mentioned method is a novel technique providing the possibility to inject internal standard of the same identity as a target analyte, so that its retention time is close to the analyte from the sample. According to expectation, when using external standard solvent calibration the results were under- or overestimated due to suppression or enhancement of analyte's signal by matrix components. On the other hand with the use of matrix-matched calibration accurate data were obtained. With echo-peak technique accurate results comparable to those obtained by matrix calibration were obtained for six out of eight pesticides. In the second set of experiment we used the echo-peak technique to overcome the problem with the response instability in the analysis of chlormequat in pear concentrate samples. As an internal standard method the echo-peak technique provided the possibility of monitoring of signal decrease during the analytical sequence and to compensate this decrease by relating sample peak area relatively to this internal standard.

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