Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 410, Issue 22, pp 5491–5506 | Cite as

Further improvements in pesticide residue analysis in food by applying gas chromatography triple quadrupole mass spectrometry (GC-QqQ-MS/MS) technologies

  • Elena Hakme
  • Ana Lozano
  • Samanta Uclés
  • Amadeo R. Fernández-AlbaEmail author
Research Paper
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Food Safety Analysis


Nowadays, the control of pesticide residues in food is well established. The capacity of triple quadrupole technology to satisfy the current food regulations has been demonstrated. However, the permanent high demand of consumers for more sensitive and faster testing is driving the development of improved analytical methodologies that increase the performances of sensitivity and robustness and reduce the analysis time. In this work, the feasibility of decreasing the run time to 12.4 min by modifying the oven temperature program, for a multiresidue method covering 203 pesticides, was evaluated. Satisfactory sensitivity results were achieved by reaching a limit of quantitation of 2 μg kg−1 for a great variety of fruits and vegetables. The validated method based on updated GC-QqQ-MS/MS has confirmed the abovementioned challenges with adequate robustness by its application to routine analyses for 69 real samples. The proposed method can represent great benefit for laboratories as it allows increasing samples throughput. It is also very useful for risk assessment studies, where the needs of low reporting limits and very wide analytical scope are necessary.


Fast GC-MS/MS analysis Low reporting limits Multiresidue method Method validation 



The authors acknowledge funding support from the European Commission, DG SANTE (Grant decision SI2.726352) and thank Joerg Riener from Agilent Technologies for his technical support.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest with any of the instruments or materials referred to in this work.

Supplementary material

216_2017_723_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (158 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 158 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elena Hakme
    • 1
  • Ana Lozano
    • 1
  • Samanta Uclés
    • 1
  • Amadeo R. Fernández-Alba
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Agrifood Campus of International Excellence (CeiA3), European Union Reference Laboratory for Pesticide Residues in Fruit and Vegetables, Department of Chemistry and PhysicsUniversity of AlmeríaAlmeríaSpain

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