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Determination of alkylphenols, phenylphenols, bisphenol A, parabens, organophosphorus pesticides and triclosan in different cereal-based foodstuffs by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry


The high toxicity of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) has promoted the development of effective techniques for their separation and detection in various types of matrices. In this work, we developed a method for the rapid, reliable determination of 24 EDCs from six different families of organic compounds (viz. alkylphenols, phenylphenols, bisphenol A, parabens, organophosphorus pesticides and triclosan) in cereal-based foodstuffs. The target compounds were subjected to ultrasound-assisted extraction with methanol, cleaned up and preconcentrated by automated solid-phase extraction, and derivatized for their determination by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GCMS). The method features low limits of detection (0.423 ng/kg), good precision (3.87.2%) and recoveries from 82% to 105%. The proposed method was used to analyse 12 samples of products purchased in Andalusia (Spain). A total of 14 analytes were detected in most of the samples. In any case, their concentrations (3.8–620 ng/kg) were all lower than the applicable maximum residue limits.

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This work was funded by Spain’s Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO, Grant CTQ-2015-71321) and partly co-funded by Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional (FEDER).

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Correspondence to Evaristo Ballesteros.

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Azzouz, A., Colón, L.P., Hejji, L. et al. Determination of alkylphenols, phenylphenols, bisphenol A, parabens, organophosphorus pesticides and triclosan in different cereal-based foodstuffs by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. Anal Bioanal Chem (2020).

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  • Endocrine disrupting chemicals
  • Cereal-based foodstuffs
  • Ultrasound-assisted extraction
  • Automated solid-phase extraction
  • Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry