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Keywords:

  • mass spectrometry;
  • triple-stage quadrupole;
  • quadrupole ion trap;
  • time-of flight mass spectrometry;
  • tandem mass spectrometry;
  • liquid chromatography;
  • pesticides;
  • food and environment

Abstract

    I.Introduction45
   II.Pesticide Structures and Properties46
  III.Extraction and Isolation Methods from Environmental and Food Samples47
  IV.LC/MS/MS Analysis of Pesticides53
 A.  Interfacing Systems53
 B.  Instrumental Aspects57
 C.  Optimization of Chromatographic Mass Spectrometric Conditions57
    V.Tandem MS Methods59
 A.  Triple Quadrupole59
 B.  Quadrupole Ion Trap66
 C.  Hybrid Quadrupole TOF (Q-TOF)71
    VI.Performance Characteristics of LC-Tandem MS for Pesticides72
   VII.Applications75
  VIII.Conclusions80
References81

An overview is given on pesticide-residue determination in environmental and food samples by liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS). Pesticides comprise a large number of substances that belong to many completely different chemical groups, the only common characteristic is that they are effective against pests. They still constitute a challenge in MS because there is no collective pathway for fragmentation. A brief introduction to the theory of tandem MS permits a discussion of which parameters influence the ionization efficiency when the ions are subjected to different actions. Emphasis is placed on the different tandem MS instruments: triple and ion-trap quadrupoles, and hybrid quadrupole time-of-flight (Q-TOF), including advantages and drawbacks, typical detection limits, and ion signals at low concentrations. The instrumental setup, as well as LC and mass spectrometric experimental conditions, must be carefully selected to increase the performance of the analytical system. The capacity of each instrument to provide useful data for the identification of pesticides, and the possibility to obtain structural information for the identification of target and non-target compounds, are discussed. Finally, sample preparation techniques and examples of applications are debated to reveal the potential of the current state-of-the-art technology, and to further promote the usefulness of tandem MS. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc., Mass Spec Rev 23:45–85, 2004