Scott J. Cambell, Neil Wallace
The demands on laboratories to produce more rapid results are and always will be on the increase. In particular, the area of pesticide residue analysis faces increasing pressure from regulatory authorities and the public to ensure residue levels are below statutory limits.
Typically, GCMS analysis and quantitative analysis is performed to determine and confirm the identity of residues. This however brings two problems; firstly, with chromatographic cycle times between 20 and 60 minutes, if we consider blanks, calibrations and recovery samples, the analysis of even a few unknowns is an overnight exercise. Secondly, the residues we are looking for have to be known beforehand so that calibration standards can be run and methods configured accordingly, and this limits our ability to look for additional or unexpected components.
Chromatographic analysis times can be dramatically reduced using fast GC and TOF instruments. Although compounds may co-elute as a result of the fast chromatography and peak widths are very narrow, this poster describes the use of TOF GCMS to reduce the acquisition time and detect targeted components quantitatively using a unique and novel spectral refinement algorithm to find unknown components.
Poster presented at:
3rd National Meeting on Environmental Mass Spectrometry - 2006