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J Chromatogr A. 2005 Sep 9;1086(1-2):61-70.

Trace analysis of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, dibenzofurans and WHO polychlorinated biphenyls in food using comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography with electron-capture detection.

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  • 1Environmental Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Institute of Environmental Chemistry, Umeå University, SE-90187 Umeå, Sweden.


Trace analysis of 2,3,7,8-polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), dibenzofurans (PCDFs) and the 12 WHO-PCBs (four non-ortho and eight mono-ortho congeners that have been assigned toxic equivalence factors, TEFs, by the World Health Organisation) was conducted by comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography with a micro electron-capture detector (GC x GC-microECD). Four food matrices (fish oil from herring, spiked cows' milk, vegetable oil and an eel extract) were analysed by two GC x GC laboratories, and four GC-HRMS laboratories generated reference values. The two GC x GC laboratories used different column combinations for separating the target analytes. For the first dimension, non-polar DB-XLB and VF-1 columns were used, and for the second dimension, an LC-50 liquid crystalline column with unique selectivity for planar compounds. The congener-specific and total toxic equivalence (TEQ) data obtained using DB-XLB x LC-50 were in good agreement with results obtained by the GC-HRMS laboratories. The WHO-PCB data obtained with the VF-1 x LC-50 combination was also good, but the PCDD/F concentrations were sometimes overestimated due to matrix interferences. GC x GC-microECD using DB-XLB x LC-50 seems to fulfil the European Community requirements of a screening method for PCDD/F and WHO-PCB TEQ in food.

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