A Fast and Simple Procedure for Polybrominated Diphenyl Ether Determination in Egg Samples by Using Microextraction by Packed Sorbent and Gas Chromatography–Mass Spectrometry

  • Marilia Cristina Oliveira Souza
  • Bruno Alves Rocha
  • Juliana Maria Oliveira Souza
  • Andresa Aparecida Berretta
  • Fernando BarbosaJrEmail author


Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are a class of flame retardants used in numerous consumer products to increase product resistance to fire and/or high temperatures. However, several studies suggest potential harmful effects on human health after exposure to these compounds. Since diet is a relevant source of PBDE exposure, food samples must be routinely monitored to check for possible contamination. On the other hand, routine food monitoring procedures require fast, simple, sensitive, and selective analytical methodologies. Therefore, in this study, an original method combining microextraction by packed sorbent and gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry for the determination of six congeners of PBDEs (BDE-28, BDE-47, BDE-99, BDE-100, BDE-153, and BDE-154) in egg samples was proposed. The attractive advances over current protocols include the reduced sample amount required (50 mg of freeze-dried egg), the low solvent volumes (lower than 300 μL), the lower detection limit (LOD = 0.42 ng/g lw), and an excellent reproducibility and repeatability (< 10 and 8%, respectively). Furthermore, the method is fast and simple. After validation, the proposed method was applied to the determination of PBDEs in 40 samples, including free-range and conventional eggs commercialized in Brazil. The free-range eggs presented the highest detection percentage of PBDEs, corresponding to 67.7%, and BDE-47 was the predominant PBDE found (30% of samples). The mean value observed for BDE-47 was 5.9 ng/g lipid weight (lw), whereas the sum of all analyzed PBDEs (∑PBDEs) was 16.7 ng/g lw.


Polybrominated diphenyl ether Eggs Microextraction by packed sorbent Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry Food Contaminants 



This research was funded by São Paulo Research Foundation (Fundação deAmparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP), Grant Nos. 2015/19665-8 and 2016/02949-6) and by the National Council of Technological and Scientific Development (CNPq).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Marília Cristina Oliveira Souza declares that she has no conflict of interest. Bruno Alves Rocha declares that he has no conflict of interest. Juliana Maria Oliveira Souza declares that she has no conflict of interest. Andresa Aparecida Berreta declares that she has no conflict of interest. Fernando Barbosa Jr. declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed Consent

Not applicable.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ASTox - Laboratório de Toxicologia Analítica e de Sistemas, Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão PretoUniversidade de São PauloRibeirão PretoBrazil
  2. 2.Laboratório de PesquisaDesenvolvimento e Inovação, Apis Flora Industrial e Comercial LtdaRibeirão PretoBrazil

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