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Solving the Challenges of High-throughput Multi-residue Pesticide Screening

The presentation describes two analytical platforms, GC-MS/MS and LC-MS/MS, utilized in the development of a high throughput workflow to screen a total of 500 pesticide residues in botanical matrices.

The widespread use of pesticides and the societal pressure to manufacture the purest, safest natural products mandates development of methods for precise determination of pesticide residues in botanical ingredients. Pesticide residue analysis of plant based dry ingredients used in dietary supplements is among the most difficult to perform due to complexity of the matrices.

Furthermore, implementation of a multi-residue pesticide screening program in a quality control environment can be quite difficult and time consuming. Therefore, many companies turn to specialized contract laboratories to perform such comprehensive testing. Although third party testing is commonly utilized, the in-house pesticide residue screen provides an additional layer of quality control and further ensures the safety of manufactured products.

Optimization of the critical parts of the process such as sample preparation procedure, analysis of the samples and data processing and reporting guarantees a robust and a productive workflow. At NOW Foods, two analytical platforms, GC-MS/MS and LC-MS/MS were utilized in the development of a high throughput workflow to screen a total of 500 pesticide residues in botanical matrices. Sample preparation was optimized for groups of botanical matrices and targeted towards matrix mitigation. The robustness of both platforms was evaluated over time when analyzing matrix heavy samples.

The GC-MS/MS analysis was performed on a TSQ9000 and the compound separation was optimized on a TG-5SILMS column. The LC-MS/MS analysis was performed on a TSQ Altis paired with a Vanquish LC. The chromatographic separation of the 254 compounds was achieved in 20 min. Data processing and reporting was streamlined by utilizing the Chromeleon software across both platforms.

The optimized workflow allows for a high throughput analysis of samples in a regulated quality control environment.

By viewing this presentation you will learn:

  • optimization of LC-MS and GC-MS workflows for pesticide analysis in food
  • techniques for extracting difficult food matrices
  • the use of Chromeleon software to streamline sample reporting

The talk is given by Katie Banaszewski, a Method Development Supervisor at NOW Foods, where she leads the development and validation of analytical methods. Katie has degrees in Biotechnology and Chemistry from William Paterson University and prior to joining NOW Foods she worked at the Institute for Food Safety and Health and Mars Snackfood US. She specializes in mass spectrometry applications and residue analysis. Katie has lead the development and implementation of a routine pesticide residue monitoring program at NOW Foods and plays an integral role in growing the company’s analytical capabilities. Katie authored and co-authored multiple publications and is continuously contributing to the scientific community in the area of research on natural products.