QuEChERS sample preparation—now easier, more convenient, and affordable

QuEChERS (Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effective, Rugged, and Safe) is a sample preparation method that was initially developed in 2003 for analyzing veterinary drugs in food. The method was also tested for pesticide residue analysis in plant material with great success. In 2003, the detailed method was published in the journal AOAC International. Since then, the QuEChERS method has evolved into a sample preparation technique used on a variety of analytes in an expanding number of sample types before analysis by GC-MS or LC-MS.

Thermo Scientific QuEChERS kits contain pre-packaged, ready-weighed salts, sorbents, and buffers to streamline your workflow and minimize the potential for error. The kits are grouped according to your analytes of interest, sample matrix, and preferred QuEChERS method:

  • Original 2003 Method
  • AOAC 2007.01 Method
  • EN 15662 Method
  • NY/T 1380-2007 Method

Complete packages—including both extraction and clean-up kits—are available. Extraction-only and cleanup-only kits are also offered to suit your laboratory’s sample preparation needs. These pre-packaged kits save time and money, make QuEChERS procedures easier and more convenient, and ensure quality to yield reproducible results and excellent recoveries for a wide variety of analytes.

As shown in the workflow diagram below, the QuEChERS method has four basic steps:

  • Homogenize sample (fruit or vegetable)
  • Extract analytes of interest from a sample using extraction salts (pesticide residues, veterinary drugs, and/or mycotoxins)
  • Clean-up the resulting supernatant using dispersive solid phase extraction (dSPE)
  • Analyze by GC-MS or LC-MS
Typical QuEChERS Workflow

The original QuEChERS method (Anastassiades et al, 2003) was developed by Steven J. Lehotay and Michelangelo Anastassiades in 2003 for the determination of pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables. The original method was created to analyze non-base-sensitive compounds and uses a sodium chloride buffer to reduce polar interferences and enhance extraction. Buffering is an important part of the QuEChERS procedure because it allows for analysis of pesticides and other residues that display pH dependence in their recoveries, depending on the sample matrix. Three different extraction kits are available to support the original 2003 QuEChERS method.

Original 2003 method extraction kits

 Part numberExtraction saltsAlso includesStarting sampleUnit size
S1-10-ORIG-CH-KIT
  • 4 g MgSO4
  • 1 g NaCl
  • In pouches
  • 50 mL tubes
  • Ceramic homogenizers
10 g sample50/PK
S1-10-ORIG-KIT
  • 4 g MgSO4
  • 1 g NaCl
  • In pouches
50 mL tubes10 g sample50/PK
S1-10-ORIG-POT
  • 4 g MgSO4
  • 1 g NaCl
  • In pouches
̶10 g sample50/PK
S1-15-ORIG-CH-KIT
  • 6 g MgSO4
  • 1.5 g NaCl
  • In pouches
  • 50 mL tubes
  • Ceramic homogenizers
15 g sample50/PK
S1-15-ORIG-KIT
  • 6 g MgSO4
  • 1.5 g NaCl
  • In pouches
50 mL tubes15 g sample50/PK
S1-15-ORIG-POT
  • 6 g MgSO4
  • 1.5 g NaCl
  • In pouches
-15 g sample50/PK

Chemicals used in the original 2003 method

AcetonitrileUsed to perform single-phase extraction (SPE) on a sample
Anhydrous MgSO4Induces phase separation between water content in sample and acetonitrile layer during liquid-liquid partitioning step; removes remaining water from sample during dispersive solid phase extraction (dSPE) step
NaClInduces phase separation between water content in sample and acetonitrile layer during liquid-liquid partitioning step; removes residual water from sample; reduces polar interference and enhances extraction
PSAPrimary secondary amine, used to remove polar matrix components, citric co-extractives, and free fatty acids, from sample during dispersive solid phase extraction (dSPE) step
Resources

The AOAC 2007.01 QuEChERS Method was developed by Steven J. Lehotay and his co-workers, who modified the original 2003 method to accommodate the use of acetate buffering at higher concentration for greater buffering strength. Buffering is an important part of the QuEChERS procedure because it allows for analysis of pesticides and other residues that display pH dependence in their recoveries, depending on the sample matrix. These extraction and clean-up products here support the AOAC 2007.01 method.

AOAC 2007.01 method extraction kits

 Part numberExtraction saltsAlso includesStarting sampleUnit size
S1-15-AOAC-CH-KIT  
  • 6 g MgSO4
  • 1.5 g NaCl
  • In pouches
  • 50 mL tubes
  • Ceramic homogenizers
  • 15 g sample
  • 50/PK

S1-15-AOAC-KIT
  • 6 g MgSO4
  • 1.5 g NaCl
  • In pouches
  • 50 mL tubes
  • 15 g sample
  • 50/PK

S1-15-AOAC-POT
  • 6 g MgSO4
  • 1.5 g NaCl
  • In pouches
̶
  • 15 g sample
  • 50/PK

AOAC 2007.01 method clean-up kits

 Sample typePrefilled 2 mL tubes
(100/PK)
Prefilled 15 mL tubes
(50/PK)
 
Clean-up
General fruits and vegetablesS2-2-GFV-AOAC-KIT
  • 50 mg PSA
  • 150 mg Anhydrous MgSO4
S2-15-GFV-AOAC-KIT
  • 400 mg PSA
  • 1200 mg Anhydrous MgSO4
Pigmented fruits and vegetablesS2-2-P-AOAC-KIT
  • 50 mg PSA
  • 50 mg GCB
  • 150 mg MgSO4
S2-15-P-AOAC-KIT
  • 400 mg PSA
  • 400 mg C18
  • 1200 mg Anhydrous MgSO4
Fruits and vegetables with fats and waxesS2-2-FW-AOAC-KIT
  • 50 mg PSA
  • 50 mg C18
  • 150 mg Anhydrous MgSO4
S2-15-FW-AOAC-KIT
  • 400 mg PSA
  • 400 mg C18
  • 1200 mg Anhydrous MgSO4
Fruits and vegetables with pigments and fatsS2-2-PF-AOAC-KIT
  • 50 mg PSA
  • 50 mg C18
  • 50 mg GCB
  • 150 mg Anhydrous MgSO4
S2-15-PF-AOAC-KIT
  • 400 mg PSA
  • 400 mg C18
  • 400 mg GCB
  • 1200 mg Anhydrous MgSO4
All food typesS2-2-ALL-AOAC-KIT
  • 50 mg PSA
  • 50 mg C18
  • 7.5 mg GCB
  • 150 mg MgSO4
S2-15-ALL-AOAC-KIT
  • 400 mg PSA
  • 400 mg C18
  • 45 mg GCB
  • 1200 mg MgSO4
Other foodsS2-2-OTH-AOAC-KIT
  • 25 mg C18
  • 150 mg MgSO4
S2-15-OTH-AOAC-KIT
  • 150 mg C18
  • 900 mg MgSO4

Chemicals used in the AOAC 2007.01 method

AcetonitrileUsed to perform single-phase extraction on a sample
Anhydrous MgSO4Induces phase separation between water content in sample and acetonitrile layer during liquid-liquid partitioning step; removes remaining water from sample during dispersive solid phase extraction (dSPE) step
NaOAcBuffers the sample to stabilize pH
PSAPrimary secondary amine, used to remove polar matrix components, citric co-extractives, and free fatty acids, from sample during dispersive solid phase extraction (dSPE) step

 

C18Removes fats, sterols, and other non-polar interferences from sample
GCBGraphitized carbon black, removes pigment (not recommended for use with planar pesticides)
Resources

The extraction and clean-up products here support the EN 15662 method. Widely used in Europe, the EN 15662 method was developed by Michelangelo Anastassiades and co-workers, who modified the original 2003 method to accommodate the use of citrate buffering at a relatively low buffering capacity. This variation uses a sodium chloride buffer to minimize polar interferences in addition to sodium citrate dihydrate and disodium citrate sesquihydrate buffers. Buffering is an important part of the QuEChERS procedure because it allows for analysis of pesticides and other residues that display pH dependence in their recoveries, depending on the sample matrix.

EN 15662 method extraction kits

 Part numberExtraction saltsAlso includesStarting sampleUnit size
S1-10-EN-CH-KIT
  • 4 g MgSO4
  • 1 g NaCl
  • 0.5 g Na-Citrate sesquihydrate
  • 1 g Na-Citrate
  • In pouches
  • 50 mL tubes
  • Ceramic homogenizers
10 g50/PK
S1-10-EN-KIT
  • 4 g MgSO4
  • 1 g NaCl
  • 0.5 g disodium citrate
  • 1 g trisodium citrate
  • In pouches
50 mL tubes10 g50/PK
S1-10-EN-POT
  • 4 g MgSO4
  • 1 g NaCl
  • 0.5 g disodium citrate sesquihydrate
  • 1 g Na-Citrate
  • In pouches
-10 g50/PK

EN 15662 method clean-up kits

 Sample typePrefilled 2 mL tubes
(100/PK)
Prefilled 15 mL tubes
(50/PK)


Clean-up

General fruits and vegetables

 

S2-2-GFV-EN-KIT
  • 150 mg MgSO4
  • 25 mg PSA

     

S2-15-GFV-EN-KIT
  • 900 mg MgSO4
  • 150 mg PSA

     

Pigmented fruits and vegetablesS2-2-P-EN-KIT
  • 150 mg MgSO4
  • 25 mg PSA
  • 2.5 mg GCB
S2-15-P-EN-KIT
  • 900 mg MgSO4
  • 150 mg PSA
  • 15 mg GCB
Highly pigmented fruits and vegetables

 

S2-2-HP-EN-KIT
  • 150 mg MgSO4
  • 25 mg PSA
  • 7.5 mg GCB
S2-15-HP-EN-KIT
  • 900 mg MgSO4
  • 150 mg PSA
  • 45 mg GCB
Fruits and vegetables with fats and waxes

 

S2-2-FW-EN-KIT
  • 150 mg MgSO4
  • 25 mg PSA
  • 25 mg C18
S2-15-FW-EN-KIT
  • 900 mg MgSO4
  • 150 mg PSA
  • 150 mg C18

Chemicals used in the EN 15662 method

AcetonitrileUsed to perform single-phase extraction on a sample
Anhydrous MgSO4Induces phase separation between water content in sample and acetonitrile layer during liquid-liquid partitioning step; removes remaining water from sample during dispersive solid phase extraction (dSPE) step
NaClInduces phase separation between water content in sample and acetonitrile layer during liquid-liquid partitioning step; removes residual water from sample
Trisodium CitrateBuffers the sample to stabilize pH
Disodium Citrate SesquihydrateBuffers the sample to stabilize pH
PSAPrimary secondary amine, used to remove polar matrix components, citric co-extractives, and free fatty acids, from sample during dispersive solid phase extraction (dSPE) step
C18Removes fats, sterols, and other non-polar interferences from sample
GCBGraphitized carbon black, removes pigment (not recommended for use with planar pesticides)
Resources

The NY/T 1380-2007 method is recommended by China Ministry of Agriculture for the QuEChERS Method sample preparation of 51 specific pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables with analysis by GC-MS.

NY/T 1380-2007 method clean-up kit

 SamplePrefilled 15 mL tubes
(50/PK)
Fruits and vegetablesS2-15-GFV-NYT-KIT
  • 100 mg PSA
  • 100 mg C18
  • 300 mg Anhydrous MgSO4

Chemicals used in the NY/T 1380-2007 method

Anhydrous MgSO4Induces phase separation between water content in sample and acetonitrile layer during liquid-liquid partitioning step; removes remaining water from sample during dispersive solid phase extraction (dSPE) step
PSAPrimary secondary amine, used to remove polar matrix components, citric co-extractives, and free fatty acids, from sample during dSPE step
C18Removes fats, sterols, and other non-polar interferences from sample

 
 
 
Related consumables

Part numberProduct description

Vials & caps

6ASV9-1P2mL clear screw glass vial (9mm short thread) with write-on patch
6ESV9-1PP1.5mL clear screw PP vial (9mm short thread)
6ASV9-2P2mL amber screw glass vial (9mm short thread) with write-on patch
6ASC9ST1RRed screw cap (9mm) (PP: white silicone/red PTFE septa: 1.0mm thickness) with AVCS technology
6ASC9ST1Blue screw cap (9 mm) (PP: white silicone/blue PTFE septa: 1.0 mm thickness) with AVCS technology

Solvents

A956-1Thermo Scientific UHPLC-MS grade acetonitrile suitable for LC and GC
A458-1Thermo Scientific UHPLC-MS grade methanol suitable for LC and GC
W8-1Thermo Scientific UHPLC-MS grade water suitable for LC and GC
A117Fisher Chemical Optima LC-MS grade formic acid suitable for LC and GC
A115-50Fisher Chemical Optima LC-MS grade ammonium formate suitable for LC and GC
T00101400Thermo Scientific Chromplete acetonitrile suitable for HPLC and GC
D1514Optima Methylene Chloride for suitable HPLC and GC-MS
H3064Optima 95% n-Hexane suitable for HPLC and GC-MS
S415500Sodium sulfate anhydrous suitable for LC and GC

HPLC columns

17326-102130Thermo Scientific Accucore aQ (100 × 2.1 mm, 2.6 μm)
071387Thermo Scientific Acclaim Trinity P1 (anionic pesticides) (100 × 3.0 mm, 3.0 µm)
17626-102130Thermo Scientific Accucore RP-MS (100 × 2.1 mm, 2.6 μm)
17326-102130Thermo Scientific Accucore aQ (100 × 2.1 mm, 2.6 μm)

GC consumables

453T2120Thermo Scientific LinerGold: Siltek six baffle PTV liner
453A1925UISSL splitless liner, single taper, deactivated
26096-1420Thermo Scientific TraceGOLD TG-5SIL MS (30 m x 0.25 mm i.d. x 0.25 μm)
Style Sheet for Komodo Tabs
Style Sheet for Global Design System
CMD SchemaApp code