Rapid detection of pesticides in honey by solid-phase micro-extraction coupled with electrospray ionization mass spectrometry

Yi Ching Choi, Tsz Tsun Ng, Bin Hu, Rong Li, Zhong Ping Yao (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Detection of pesticide residues in food samples is important for safeguarding food quality and safety. Conventional approaches for detection of pesticides in food samples typically involve labour-intensive and time-consuming sample pretreatment and chromatographic separation. In this study, solid phase micro-extraction fibres were used to rapidly extract and enrich pesticides in honey, a popular agricultural product with complex matrix, and then directly coupled with electrospray ionization mass spectrometry for qualitative and quantitative analysis. Three pesticides, ie, atrazine, benalaxyl, and pirimicarb, were investigated using the technique and their analytical performances were evaluated. The limits of detection and limits of quantitation of all the three pesticides could fulfil the cut-off values of the international standard. Linear calibration curves were constructed with good R2 coefficients, and the accuracy and precision were in acceptable ranges for all the pesticides. The analysis time is much reduced, with only minimum sample preparation and no chromatographic separation involved. The technique is simple and easy to set up, and can be extended for analysis of other analytes and sample systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere4380
JournalJournal of Mass Spectrometry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020


  • direct coupling
  • electrospray ionization mass spectrometry
  • honey
  • pesticides
  • solid-phase microextraction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Spectroscopy

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