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Confirmation of fenthion metabolites in oranges by IT-MS and QqTOF-MS

AuthorsPicó, Yolanda; Farré, Marinella CSIC ORCID; Barceló, Damià CSIC ORCID
KeywordsOrganophophorous pesticide fenthion
Fenoxon sulfoxide
Fenoxon sulfone
Issue Date17-Nov-2007
PublisherAmerican Chemical Society
CitationAnalytical Chemistry 79(24): 9350-9363 (2007)
AbstractIdentification of degradation products of the organophophorous pesticide fenthion formed in two orange varieties, Valencia Navel and Navel Late, under field conditions has been assessed using liquid chromatography quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry and ion trap mass spectrometry. The structural elucidation of the metabolites was accomplished by the accurate mass measurements provided by the quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometer in MS and MS/MS modes. This instrument achieved elemental composition diagnosis for the precursor and product ions with absolute mass error of < 5 ppm, which unambiguously establishes the identity of the metabolites even at low concentration. The presence of these compounds was also confirmed by electrospray ionization-ion trap mass spectrometry, performing successive fragmentation steps (MSn). Once identified, each molecule was confirmed by comparison with its analytical standard, also used to explore the quantitative capabilities of both mass analyzers. The extraction method was evaluated because it predetermines the metabolites that can be found (e.g., according to their polarity). Recoveries ranged from 70% for fenoxon sulfoxide (the most polar) to 101% for fenthion (the most apolar), which also indicates the method’s facility to extract other more polar metabolites if present. Satisfactory linear range (r > 0.99) of more than 2 orders of magnitude was obtained with both analyzers for standards prepared in methanol and in untreated orange extracts. However, the matrix-matched standards showed suppression of the mass signal due to the matrix effect, especially for fenoxon sulfoxide and sulfone. The limits of quantification ranged from 0.005 to 0.015 mg/kg. The QqTOF-MS provided better quantification limits for fenthion and its sulfoxide and sulfone than the IT-MS. The resulting fenthion degration curves in oranges indicated that it was mainly degraded by sunlight photolysis to its sulfoxide and sulfone. However, hydrolysis was also observed by the appearance of fenoxon, fenoxon sulfoxide, and fenoxon sulfone, but always in low concentrations, which can be related to the rain events.
Description14 pages, 4 figures, 4 tables.-- PMID: 18020315 [PubMed].-- Printed version published Dec 15, 2007.
Supplementary information (Suppl. figures S1-S8) available at:
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