Laura Cherta

Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Valencia, Spain

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Publications (8)27.09 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The potential of an advanced analytical strategy based on the use of gas chromatography (GC) coupled to high resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) with two different analyzers and ionization sources has been investigated and applied to the non-target analysis of food packaging contaminants. Initially, the approach based on GC-time-of-flight (TOF) MS with electron ionization (EI) source allowed performing a library search and mass accurate measurements of selected ions. Then, a second analysis was performed using hybrid quadrupole (Q) TOF MS with an atmospheric pressure chemical ionization (APCI) source in order to search for the molecular ion or the protonated molecule and study the fragmentation behavior. This analytical strategy was applied to the analysis of four polypropylene/ethylene vinyl alcohol/polypropylene (PP/EVOH/PP) multilayer trays and one PP/Al foil/PP film, each one subjected to migration assays with the food simulants isooctane and Tenax®, in order to investigate its potential on the determination of migrant substances. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Food Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: This work presents a strategy for elucidation of unknown migrants from plastic food contact materials (baby bottles) using a combination of analytical techniques in an untargeted approach. First, gas chromatography (GC) coupled to mass spectrometry (MS) in electron ionisation mode was used to identify migrants through spectral library matching. When no acceptable match was obtained, a second analysis by GC-(electron ionisation) high resolution mass spectrometry time of flight (TOF) was applied to obtain accurate mass fragmentation spectra and isotopic patterns. Databases were then searched to find a possible elemental composition for the unknown compounds. Finally, a GC hybrid quadrupole-TOF-MS with an atmospheric pressure chemical ionisation source was used to obtain the molecular ion or the protonated molecule. Accurate mass data also provided additional information on the fragmentation behaviour as two acquisition functions with different collision energies were available (MSE approach). In the low-energy function, limited fragmentation took place, whereas for the high-energy function, fragmentation was enhanced. For less volatile unknowns, ultra-high pressure liquid chromatography-quadrupole-TOF-MS was additionally applied. Using a home-made database containing common migrating compounds and plastic additives, tentative identification was made for several positive findings based on accurate mass of the (de)protonated molecule, product ion fragments and characteristic isotopic ions. Six illustrative examples are shown to demonstrate the modus operandi and the difficulties encountered during identification. The combination of these techniques was proven to be a powerful tool for the elucidation of unknown migrating compounds from plastic baby bottles. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Journal of Mass Spectrometry
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    ABSTRACT: The use of a new atmospheric pressure chemical ionization source for gas chromatography (APGC) coupled to tandem quadrupole mass spectrometer (MS/MS) as an alternative to high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) for the determination of PCDDs/PCDFs is described. The potential of using Atmospheric Pressure Chemical Ionization (APCI) coupled to a tandem quadrupole analyzer has been validated for the identification and quantification of dioxins and furans in different complex matrices. The main advantage of using the APCI source is the soft ionization at atmospheric pressure resulting in very limited fragmentation. APCI mass spectra are dominated by the molecular ion cluster, in contrast with the high energy ionization process under electron ionization (EI). The use of molecular ion as precursor ion in MS/MS enhances selectivity and consequently sensitivity by an increase in signal-to-noise ratios (S/N). For standard solutions of 2,3,7,8-TCDD injecting 10 fg in the splitless mode on a 30m or 60m, 0.25 mm id and 25µm film thickness low polarity capillary columns (DB5MS type) S/N values (greater than 10:1) were routinely obtained. Linearity was achieved in the range (r2 > 0.998) for calibration curves ranging from 100 fg/μL to 1000 pg/μL. The results from a wide variety of complex samples, including certified and standard reference materials and samples from several QA/QC studies which were previously analyzed by EI HRGC/HRMS, were compared with the results from the APGC/MS/MS system. Results between instruments showed good agreement both in individual congeners and toxic equivalence factors (TEQs). The data shows that the use of APGC in combination with MS/MS for the analysis of dioxins has the same potential in term of sensitivity and selectivity as the traditional HRMS instrumentation used for this analysis. The APCI/MS/MS system as being a bench top system is however far more easy to use. μ.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Analytical Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: Three sample treatment methods, based on QuEChERS, solid-phase extraction (SPE) and solid-phase microextraction (SPME), were compared and evaluated in order to obtain the best conditions to determine pesticide residues in fruit juice by fast gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (single quadrupole GC-MS). Analysis were performed under selected ion monitoring, acquiring the three most abundant and/or specific ions for each analyte and using their relative intensity ratios as a confirmatory parameter. The 3 methodologies (QuEChERS, SPE and SPME) were validated taking 15 selected pesticides as model compounds, using commercial apple juice. QuEChERS procedure was based on the AOAC Official Method 2007.01, using acetonitrile (containing 1 % acetic acid) as extraction solvent and primary–secondary amine during the dispersive solid-phase extraction. Oasis hydrophilic–lipophilic balance cartridges were used for SPE, and polyacrylate fibers were used for direct immersion SPME procedure. Three isotopically labeled standards were added to the samples before extraction and used as surrogate standards. Validation parameters as recoveries, limits of detection, and limits of quantification (LOQ), as well as matrix effects and sample throughput, were obtained and compared for the three extraction procedures. QuEChERS was considered faster and led to the best quantitative results. In this way, validation was extended to up to 56 pesticides by applying QuEChERS in multi-fruit juice samples, obtaining LOQs ranging from 2 to 20 μg/L for most compounds. Accuracy and precision were evaluated by means of recovery experiments at two concentration levels (10 and 100 μg/L), obtaining recoveries between 70 and 120 % in most cases and relative standard deviations below 15 %. Finally, the QuEChERS method was applied to the analysis of commercial juices, including mango–apple, pineapple, grapefruit and orange.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2013 · Food Analytical Methods
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    ABSTRACT: A multi-residue method for the determination of 142 pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables has been developed using a new atmospheric pressure chemical ionization (APCI) source for coupling gas chromatography (GC) to tandem mass spectrometry (MS). Selected reaction monitoring (SRM) mode has been applied, acquiring three transitions for each compound. In contrast to the extensive fragmentation typically obtained in classical electron ionization (EI), the soft APCI ionization allowed the selection of highly abundant protonated molecules ([M+H](+)) as precursor ions for most compounds. This was favorable for both sensitivity and selectivity. Validation of the method was performed in which both quantitative and qualitative parameters were assessed using orange, tomato and carrot samples spiked at two levels, 0.01 and 0.1mg/kg. The QuEChERS method was used for sample preparation, followed by a 10-fold dilution of the final acetonitrile extract with a mixture of hexane and acetone. Recovery and precision were satisfactory in the three matrices, at both concentration levels. Very low limits of detection (down 0.01μg/kg for the most sensitive compounds) were achieved. Ion ratios were consistent and identification according to EU criteria was possible in 80% (0.01mg/kg) to 96% (0.1mg/kg) of the pesticide/matrix combinations. The method was applied to the analysis of various fruits and vegetables from the Mediterranean region of Spain.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2013 · Journal of Chromatography A
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    ABSTRACT: The capabilities of a recently launched atmospheric pressure chemical ionization (APCI) source for mass spectrometry (MS) coupled to gas chromatography (GC) have been tested in order to evaluate its potential in pesticide residue analysis in fruits and vegetables. Twenty-five pesticides were selected due to their high fragmentation under electron ionization (EI), making that the molecular ion (M(+)) is practically absent in their spectra. The fragmentation of these pesticides under APCI conditions was studied, with the result that M(+) was not only present but also highly abundant for most compounds, with noticeable differences in the fragmentation patterns in comparison with EI. Moreover, the addition of water as modifier was tested to promote the formation of protonated molecules ([M+H](+)). Under these conditions, [M+H](+) became the base peak of the spectrum for the majority of compounds, thus leading to an increase of sensitivity in the subsequent GC-MS/MS method developed using triple quadrupole analyzer (QqQ). Highly satisfactory sensitivity and precision, in terms of repeatability, were reached and linearity was satisfactory in the range 0.01-100ng/mL. The developed methodology was applied to apple, orange, tomato and carrot QuEChERS fortified extracts in order to evaluate the matrix effects. In summary, the soft and reproducible ionization in the APCI source has greatly favored the formation of [M+H](+) oppositely to EI where abundant fragmentation occurs and where the molecular ions have low abundance or are even absent in the mass spectrum. In this way, the use of APCI has facilitated the development of tandem MS methods based on the selection of abundant [M+H](+) as precursor ion.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2012 · Journal of Chromatography A
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    ABSTRACT: A fast gas chromatography–mass spectrometry method has been developed for multiresidue determination of up to 56 pesticides in fruits and vegetables in a chromatographic run time of <10 min, using a single quadrupole mass spectrometer operating in selected ion monitoring mode. The well-known acetate-buffering version of the QuEChERS method has been used for sample preparation. Programmable temperature vaporizer injection of 3 μL allowed reaching limits of detection between 0.15 and 15 μg/kg for most compounds in the sample matrices tested. The applicability of the method has been evaluated in apple, orange, carrot, and tomato. Recoveries at three fortification levels (0.01, 0.1 and 0.5 mg/kg) ranged from 70 to 120 % for most compounds, with relative standard deviations below 20 % in all cases. The developed method has been applied to fruit and vegetable samples from different Spanish provinces.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2012 · Food Analytical Methods
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    ABSTRACT: A multiresidue method has been developed for quantification and identification of 66 multiclass priority organic pollutants in water by fast gas chromatography (GC) coupled to mass spectrometry (MS). Capabilities and limitations of single quadrupole mass spectrometer as detector in fast GC were studied evaluating the chromatographic responses in terms of sensitivity and chromatographic peak shapes, as they were influenced by scan time. The number of monitored ions in a selected ion monitoring (SIM) group strongly conditioned the scan time and subsequently the number of data points per peak. A compromise between peak shape and scan time was adopted in order to reach the proper conditions for quantitative analysis. An average of 10–15 points per peak was attained for most compounds, involving scan times between 0.1 and 0.22 s. The method was validated for mineral, surface, and groundwater. A solid-phase extraction pre-concentration step using C18 cartridges was applied. Four isotopically labeled standards were added to the samples before extraction and used as surrogates to ensure a reliable quantification. Analyses were performed by GC–MS in electron ionization mode, monitoring the three most abundant and/or specific ions for each compound and using the intensity ratios as a confirmatory parameter. With a chromatographic run of less than 10 min, SIM mode provided excellent sensitivity and identification capability due to the monitoring of three ions and the evaluation of their intensity ratio. Limits of detection below 10 ng/L were reached for most of the 66 compounds in the three matrices studied. Accuracy and precision of the method were evaluated by means of recovery experiments at two fortification levels (10 and 100 ng/L), obtaining recoveries between 70% and 120% in most cases and relative standard deviations below 20%. The possibilities of a simultaneous SIM scan method have also been explored for non-target qualitative analysis. The developed method has been applied to the analysis of surface water samples collected from the Mediterranean region of Spain. Figure Full scan chromatogram of a 100 ng/mL standard mixture in hexane obtained by GC-MS in full scan mode (upper) and graphical diagram of the analytical procedure
    No preview · Article · Sep 2011 · Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry