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A comparison of the effectiveness of QuEChERS, FaPEx and a modified QuEChERS method on the determination of organochlorine pesticides in ginseng

Bruce-Vanderpuije, Pennante and Megson, David and Ryu, Song-Hee and Choi, Geun-Hyoung and Park, Sang-Won and Kim, Byung-Seok and Kim, Jin Hyo and Lee, Hyo-Sub (2021) A comparison of the effectiveness of QuEChERS, FaPEx and a modified QuEChERS method on the determination of organochlorine pesticides in ginseng. PLoS ONE, 16 (1). e0246108-e0246108. ISSN 1932-6203

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Abstract

This study provides a review of methods used in the determination of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) in ginseng and compares the effectiveness of three extraction methods (Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effective, Rugged, and Safe (QuEChERS), a modified QuEChERS and a Fast Pesticide Extraction (FaPEx)) in the analyses of 20 OCPs in ginseng root samples. For each method, sample mass, solvent volume and sorbent mass were varied to identify the optimum combination to effectively isolate analytes of interest from the complex sample matrix. Extracts were analyzed using the gas chromatography-μ-electron capture detector (GC-μ-ECD), and confirmatory analyses performed by gas chromatography-tandem-mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS). Eighteen out of 20 OCPs spiked onto in-house prepared ginseng samples produced acceptable recoveries (51–156%) when extracted using QuEChERS and FaPEx. All 20 analytes, including dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane (p, p’- DDD) and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (o, p’-DDT), produced acceptable recoveries (51–129%) with the use of a modified QuEChERS method. The applicability of the modified QuEChERS method was demonstrated through the analysis of ginseng samples grown in endosulfan-treated soil. The samples were analyzed by both GC-μ-ECD and GC-MS/MS with no significant difference identified in the results of each analytical method. This study highlights the applicability of the modified QuEChERS method, in combination with GC- μ-ECD, to determine organochlorine pesticides in ginseng. This may be especially useful for laboratories in developing countries and less advanced institutions without access to MS/MS instrumentation.

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