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Food Addit Contam Part A Chem Anal Control Expo Risk Assess. 2018 Dec;35(12):2375-2386. doi: 10.1080/19440049.2018.1539252. Epub 2018 Nov 14.

Simultaneous determination of nine acaricides and two metabolites in comb honey by LC/MS/MS.

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a Department of Food Safety , Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Public Health , Shinjuku-ku , Tokyo , Japan.


We developed a method for the simultaneous determination of acaricides in comb honey using LC/MS/MS. Because methods for honey analysis had not previously been applied to comb honey, we modified three techniques for sample preparation and LC/MS/MS conditions. First, we used a modified QuEChERS method that changed the extraction solution from ethyl acetate to acetonitrile. Second, we replaced the InertSep® MA-1 (30 mg, 1 ml) clean-up cartridge with an Oasis® HLB (60 mg, 3 ml). Third, we changed the ionisation mode from ESI to atmospheric pressure chemical ionisation (APCI). With these modifications, sample matrices had no effect on the identification and quantification of analytes, using an external solvent calibration curve. We verified this new method with nine acaricides and two metabolites on comb honey and honey samples from three different honey origins. The trueness ranged from 74.0 to 99.4%. The relative standard deviation of repeatability (RSDr) ranged from 0.8 to 14.8% and that of within-laboratory reproducibility (RSDWR) ranged from 1.3 to 14.8%. All criteria met Japanese validation guidelines. The LOQ was 1.0 μg kg-1 for all analytes. We applied this method to 10 comb honey and 31 honey samples commercially available in Tokyo. From the results of the analysis of 41 samples, we observed that amitraz remained as N-(2,4-dimethylphenyl)-N-methylformamidine (DMPF) in 9 comb honey and 23 honey samples and that their residual concentrations were less than 20 μg kg-1. Using this new method, we improved recovery and precision, which enabled precise quantitative determination. Furthermore, the residual amitraz value in honey determined by both this new and the previous method were in good agreement.


Acaricides; LC/MS/MS; atmospheric pressure chemical ionisation; comb honey; honey

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