Rapid communications in mass spectrometry : RCM

Rapid method for determination of chlormequat residues in tomato products by ion-exchange liquid chromatography/electrospray tandem mass spectrometry.

PMID 12271446


A rapid method has been devised for the direct determination of chlormequat in tomato samples. No clean-up is required, and analysis uses ion-exchange liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry interfaced with electrospray ionization (LC/ESI-MS/MS). A cation-exchange column was used with an aqueous ammonium acetate/acetonitrile mixture as the mobile phase under isocratic conditions. The method was validated in terms of detection limits (LOD), quantitation limits (LOQ), linearity, recovery, precision and accuracy. Good results in the low micro g kg(-1) level were obtained for the LOD and LOQ of chlormequat in tomato samples. Comparison of solvent and matrix-matched calibration curves demonstrated the absence of significant matrix effects and the feasibility of using external calibration. Linearity was established over two orders of magnitude by performing homoscedasticity and Mandel fitting statistical tests. The absence of both constant and proportional systematic errors was verified by evaluating the recovery function, demonstrating good method accuracy. Excellent precision in terms of intra-day repeatability was calculated (RSD% <3.4). Extraction recoveries from tomato products were calculated, by using a labelled internal standard (d(4)-chlormequat), to be in the 93 +/- 5-99 +/- 7% range. The applicability of the method to the determination of chlormequat residues in tomato products was demonstrated.