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March 8 - 12, 2021


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PFAS in Food Matrices: Maximizing Analytical Recovery from an Important, Yet Problematic Matrix

  • Session Number: S31-03
Thursday, March 11, 2021: 9:40 AM - 10:15 AM


Martha Maier
Vista Analytical Laboratory
Oliver Cawdell
Technical Director
Vista Analytical Laboratory


Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have been produced for over 60 years for many consumer products and industrial processes. PFAS are the subject of increasingly intense environmental research because they are highly mobile in the environment, ubiquitous, bio-accumulative and associated with various adverse long-term health effects. For these reasons, the detection limits for PFAS must be set very low to account for a lifetime exposure. However, these limits can be difficult to achieve for problematic matrices with interferences. Whilst most research has focused on drinking water as the primary exposure pathway, understanding and quantifying PFAS in food remains an important area for public health. From spreading fertilizer on fields, to processing machinery, to food packaging, there is a growing concern regarding PFAS exposure into people’s diets. Developing a method which can effectively extract PFAS from food matrices can be challenging. Varying levels of interferences between food matracies from proteins, lipids and high organic matter content can disrupt PFAS recovery, so understanding the limitations of different method approaches can be key for validating food matrix results. This study compares the QuEChERS technique to a standard Solid Phase Extraction (SPE), with clean up methods for varying types of food samples. Dried and fresh corn, minced beef, chicken egg, natural yoghurt and vegetable oil samples were obtained from a grocery store. One gram of each matrix was extracted using a basic pre-treatment and methanol extraction, QuEChERS and ion pair extraction techniques. These extracts were then processed using a range of clean up options to assess the combination of approaches that best mitigate food matrix interferences. Column and dispersive-SPE, Envi-Carb and a selective lipid removal SPE were compared. A suite of 41 PFAS was targeted for all techniques and all samples were analyzed via Waters UPLC-MS/MS with an isotope dilution technique

Additional Info

Keywords: Please select up to 4 keywords ONLY:
Food Science,Method Development,Trace Analysis,Sample Preparation

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