Development of a QuEChERS-Based Method for the Simultaneous Determination of Acidic Pesticides, Their Esters, and Conjugates Following Alkaline Hydrolysis
An analytical procedure was developed allowing the simultaneous determination of acidic pesticides and their conjugates by addition of an alkaline hydrolysis step into the European Union (EU) version of the QuEChERS method. The procedure resulted additionally in hydrolysis of most esters of phenoxy acids. On the basis of information from metabolism studies and the hydrolytic conditions employed in supervised field trials as well as results on the influence of physical and chemical parameters (temperature, time, type of solvent, type of matrix), alkaline hydrolysis for 30 min at 40 °C was deemed a good compromise for the determination of residues of 2,4-D, dichlorprop, fluazifop, haloxyfop, MCPA, and MCPB. The applicability of the proposed method was tested by analyzing food samples with incurred residues in six German laboratories not involved in method development. Up to 6 times higher residues are measured by using the QuEChERS extraction procedure with the newly developed alkaline hydrolysis step.