Suitability of an Orbitrap mass spectrometer for the screening of pesticide residues in extracts of fruit and vegetables

Alder, L.; Steinborn, A.; Bergelt, S.

For about 500 pesticides, the sensitivity of a benchtop high-resolution mass spectrometer using the Orbitrap for mass separation was compared to that of a widely used (low-resolution) tandem mass spectrometer. Both instruments were coupled to LC and used electrospray ionization. The selectivity of the Orbitrap in the full-scan acquisition mode without fragmentation was evaluated at a resolution of 100 000 full width at half maximum for all pesticides detectable with sufficient sensitivity. For this purpose, quasimolecular ions were extracted within 5 ppm windows from total ion chromatograms of two types of extracts of cucumber, lemon, wheat flour, raisin, and tea. In each of the obtained reconstructed ion chromatograms (individual chromatograms for 500 pesticides, each pesticide in 10 different extracts) the sum of signals not arising from the analyte was used to get a measure on selectivity. In addition, the target analyte list was checked for ions of similar mass. The influence of matrix on the ability to detect low concentrations of fortified pesticides was also studied, with the help of spiked extracts. This part of the survey tested whether analyte peaks were lost because of insufficient mass resolution or an early closing C-Trap (used to control the ion current into the Orbitrap). Finally, the stability of the ion ratio [M+H]+/[M+Na]+ was tested, which may be helpful to confirm the identity of an analyte.

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Alder, L. / Steinborn, A. / Bergelt, S.: Suitability of an Orbitrap mass spectrometer for the screening of pesticide residues in extracts of fruit and vegetables. 2011.

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