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J Chromatogr A. 2011 Oct 21;1218(42):7634-9. doi: 10.1016/j.chroma.2011.07.033. Epub 2011 Jul 20.

Overcoming matrix effects using the dilution approach in multiresidue methods for fruits and vegetables.

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  • 1European Union Reference Laboratory (DG SANCO) for Residues of Pesticides in Fruits and Vegetables, Pesticide Residue Research Group, Department of Hydrogeology and Analytical Chemistry, University of Almería, 04120 La Cañada de San Urbano, Almería, Spain.


During recent years matrix effects in liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) have quickly become a major concern in food analysis. The phenomenon of ion suppression can lead to errors in the quantification of the analytes of interest, as well as can affect detection capability, precision, and accuracy of the method. Sample dilution is an easy and effective method to reduce interfering compounds, and so, to diminish matrix effects. In this work, matrix effects of 53 pesticides in three different matrices (orange, tomato and leek) were evaluated. Several dilutions of the matrix were tested in order to study the evolution of signal suppression. Dilution of the extracts led to a reduction of the signal suppression in most of the cases. A dilution factor of 15 demonstrated to be enough to eliminate most of the matrix effects, opening the possibility to perform quantification with solvent based standards in the majority of the cases. In those cases where signal suppression could not be reduced, a possible solution would be to use stable isotope-labelled internal standards for quantification of the problematic pesticides.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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