Extraction of Pesticides from Strawberry CRM
The QuEChERS method has become the industry standard for pesticide clean-up and extraction of a wide variety of food samples. Unfortunately, this process is a manual, multi-step process that can be time consuming and wrought with error. Furthermore, there are so many different QuEChERS kits for various food types that it can be overwhelming to determine which kit is best for any given sample. In this application note, we discuss the use of the EDGE® automated extraction system with Q-Matrix Hydra™, a sorbent that performs the clean-up of wet and dry food samples.
The EDGE had the same recovery as traditional QuEChERS methodology, but in an automated platform that included sample rinsing, filtration, and system washing.
As consumers, we want to know what is in our food that could be harmful, including pesticides, fillers, and anything that could be leached from packaging. As a manufacturer, we need to ensure that our products are safe and fall within allowable limits of contaminants. Pesticide analysis is of particular interest, as the long-term effects of pesticide exposure are well-documented. While pesticide testing is already very routine with QuEChERS methodology, there is room for improvement. Achieving a more complete extraction in less time, in an automated fashion has been a request of food manufacturers for years. As limits of detection continue to drop and turnaround time for batch release becomes more urgent, a faster, more efficient extraction method is necessary.
In this experiment, the techniques of QuEChERS and EDGE automated solvent extraction will be compared. QuEChERS utilizes salts and sorbents in a multi-step manual clean-up and extraction process. With QuEChERS, the total time to extract one sample is between 20 and 60 min. The EDGE automated solvent extraction system performs sample extraction and clean-up in a single, 7-min cycle that includes sample rinsing, filtration, and system washing. The use of Q-Matrix Hydra further simplifies the extraction process by removing water from wet samples in-situ, so that no additional handling of the sample is required.