Are the levels of pesticide residues in baby food safe? Improvements in sample analysis have made it easier than ever to ensure that babies are getting the nutrition they need, without the chemicals they don’t.

Overview: Trace amounts of pesticide residues can be found in food products, including baby food. Babies are more sensitive to chemicals than adults, and their food needs to be analyzed as accurately as possible. Detecting pesticides in food requires sensitive instruments that must be able to analyze a large number of samples in a short turnaround time.

Method: Baby food is analyzed for pesticide residues using acetonitrile as the extraction solvent. Direct injection of low sample volume QuEChERS acetonitrile extracts is combined with fast temperature ramps to shorten gas chromatograph run times. The Thermo Scientific™ TSQ™ 8000 Evo triple quadrupole GC-MS/MS with EvoCell collision chamber technology and selected reaction monitoring (SRM) scheduling with timed-SRM software allows run time to be shortened significantly.

Results: Laboratory productivity was tripled as a result of direct analysis of acetonitrile extracts, fast data acquisition with EvoCell fast collision cell technology, and comprehensive detection of pesticides using simultaneous full scan and SRM data acquisition. Excellent sensitivity was achieved, with all pesticides detected at a concentration of 5–10 ng/g with IDL values from 0.2–3.7 ng/g. 

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