Rapid determination of antibiotic residues in cereals by liquid chromatography triple mass spectrometry
Antibiotics may be present in agricultural soils through the application of organic amendments as fertilizers or by irrigation of fields with recycled water. As a result of these agricultural practices, antibiotics in soil can lead to their uptake by plants, entering in this way the food chain. Studies on the levels of antibiotics in cereal samples are scarce in the available literature. In this work, an analytical method was developed for the determination of 19 antibiotics (fluoroquinolones, sulfonamides, tetracyclines, and lincosamides) in four types of cereal grains (wheat, barley, rice, and oat). Ultrasound-assisted matrix solid-phase dispersion was selected as extraction technique with recoveries of target analytes ranging from 73 to 127% for the four cereals analyzed. Limits of quantification obtained ranged from 0.8 to 5.8 ng g−1. Compared with methods described for the analysis of antibiotics in cereals, the developed method uses a lower volume of extraction solvent and very good recoveries were obtained for all compounds. The validated method was applied to the analysis of different types of cereals samples, harvested from agricultural fields or purchased from local supermarkets. The analysis of the five cereal samples grown in fields with 3 years of consecutive organic amendments revealed that none of the nineteen antibiotics selected were found in any sample. Eleven commercial samples of cereals of different types and presentations were analyzed and enrofloxacin was detected in one rice sample; the presence of enrofloxacin in cereals or its incorporation into crops from soil or water not previously reported.
KeywordsGrains Uptake Antibiotics LC-MS/MS Analysis
The authors wish to thank the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness for financial support, project (RTA2014-00012C03). The authors would like to thank Dr. Mª Carmen Lobo Bedmar (IMIDRA) and Dr. Jose Luis Tenorio (INIA) for the cereal samples grown in the agricultural fields and the wheat grown in the experimental farm “La Canaleja” (Madrid), respectively.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
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