The paper presents a novel approach for the determination of three cytokinin compounds, thidiazuron (TDZ), 1,3-diphenylurea (1,3-DPU) and forchlorfenuron (CPPU), in fruit and vegetables samples using liquid chromatography with electrospray ionization and time-of-flight mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-TOFMS). Analytes were extracted from the sample matrix with ethanol, and the extract, after dilution with water, was submitted to dispersive liquid-liquid microextraction (DLLME). Once acetonitrile and 1,2-dichloroethane had been selected as extraction and disperser solvents, respectively, the influence of the following experimental parameters was studied using a Plackett-Burman design: volume of extraction and disperser solvents, sample mass and time and speed of centrifugation. The best analytical conditions were 250 µL 1,2-dichloroethane, 1.5 mL acetonitrile, 5 g sample mass, and centrifugation at 3000 rpm for 3 min. The optimized method provided DLs in the range 0.02-0.05 ng g(-1), depending on the compound. Satisfactory recovery values between 89 and 106% were obtained for spiked samples (kiwifruit, watermelon, grape and tomato) in the 0.2-1.0 ng g(-1) concentration range, depending on the compound. None of the target analytes was detected in any of the samples analyzed.
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