Simultaneous Suspect Screening and Quantitation of Pesticides in a Complex Matrix Using an Agilent 6546 LC/Q-TOF

In recent years, the intersection of pesticide concerns, environmental pressures, and a globalized market has made food safety a hot issue. Liquid chromatography/quadrupole time of flight mass spectrometry (LC/Q-TOF MS) is increasingly used to analyze food for authenticity and for contaminants such as pesticides because of its unparalleled precision, sensitivity, and ability to provide comprehensive insights into complex matrices.

This application note describes a methodology for screening and simultaneous quantitation of hundreds of pesticides in black pepper, a complex food matrix. The comprehensive workflow solution includes sample preparation with an Agilent Bond Elut QuEChERS extraction kit and Agilent Captiva Enhanced Matrix Removal– General Pigment Dry (EMR–GPD) cleanup material. Separation and detection were carried out with an Agilent 1290 Infinity II LC system and an Agilent 6546 LC/Q-TOF MS, and data analysis was done with the Agilent MassHunter Personal Compound Database and Library (PCDL). The workflow solution can confidently perform target quantitation and suspect screening, achieving excellent reproducibility, mass accuracy, and linearity. Combining target quantitation and suspect screening workflows reduces the complexity of data analysis and the time needed to review the results

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