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South African Journal of Chemistry

On-line version ISSN 1996-840X
Print version ISSN 0379-4350


OBUSENG, Veronica C. et al. Extraction of pesticides from plants using solid phase microextraction and QuEChERS. S.Afr.j.chem. (Online) [online]. 2013, vol.66, pp.00-00. ISSN 1996-840X.

A study employing dispersive solid phase extraction in the form of the quick, easy, cheap, effective, rugged and safe (QuEChERS) method and solid phase microextraction (SPME) for the cleanup of pesticides in plant samples from the Okavango Delta (Botswana) is presented. Concentration levels of aldrin, 1,1-dichloro-2,4-bis[chlorophenyl]ethane (DDD), 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis[p-chlorophenyl]ethylene(DDE), 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis[p-chlorophenyl]ethane (DDT), dieldrin, endosulfan and endrin were investigated using gas chromatography with electron capture detection (GC-ECD) and confirmed with gas chromatography with high resolution time of flight mass spectrometry (GC-TOFMS). Parameters affecting the extraction efficiencies of both techniques were optimized. In the absence of CRMs for the plants under investigation, method validation and evaluation of the extraction efficiencies were achieved through spiking of Nymphaea nouchali (Tswii) leaves at two concentration levels with trichlorobenzene as an internal standard. Recoveries for both SPME and QuEChERS were in the range 61-95 %. The calibration plots were reproducible and linear (R2 > 0.995) with limits of detection ranging from 0.102 to 1.693 µg L-1 for all the pesticides. The optimal conditions for QuEChERS and SPME were applied to the extraction of pesticides residues from the edible parts (leaves, roots and/ or stems) of Asparagus africanus, Cleome hirta and Nymphaea nouchali plants. No pesticides were detected in the leaves and stems of all the plants studied. Aldrin and endosulfan were detected in the Nymphaea nouchali roots at concentrations of 3-21 µg kg-1 and 5-3 µg kg-1, respectively. Pentachlorobenzene (PCB) and hexachlorobenzene (HCB) were also detected but were not quantified.

Keywords : Gas chromatography; mass spectrometry; pesticide; plant sample; green techniques.

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