A reliable, sensitive, and efficient method was developed for routine analysis of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS) in various edible crop matrices including cereal (grain), root vegetable (carrot), leafy vegetable (lettuce), and melon vegetable (pumpkin). The target analytes were extracted by ion-pair approach followed by solid-phase extraction clean-up and HPLC-MS/MS. The type of extraction solvent, clean-up cartridge, and the usage of Supelclean graphitized carbon were evaluated to reach an optimized pretreatment procedure. The matrix-matched standard calibrations relative to the isotope-labeled internal standard were used in the developed method to obtain more reliable quantitative results. The average recoveries at four spiked levels (0.5, 10, 25, 50 ng/g) in the diverse matrices ranged from 70.9 to 114.6% with relative standard deviations (RSD) lower than 11.5%. The matrix-dependent method detection limits using the common equipment (HPLC-MS/MS) were between 0.020 and 0.140 ng/g (dw), equivalent to the 3–130 pg/g (fw), corresponding to the sensitivity of superior equipment (e.g., UPLC-MS/MS and HPLC-QTOF-HRMS). Furthermore, the developed method was conferred with the practicality through determination of the analytes in actual crops sampled from several farms in China’s Pearl River Delta.
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Compliance with Ethical Standards
The manuscript has not been published previously (partly or in full). The manuscript has not been submitted to more than one journal for simultaneous consideration. Consent to submit has been received explicitly from all co-authors, as well as from the institute/organization where the work has been carried out, before the work is submitted. Authors whose names appear on the submission have contributed sufficiently to the scientific work and therefore share collective responsibility and accountability for the results.
This work was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41573093), the NSFC-Guangdong Joint Fund (U1501233), the Research Team Project of the Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province (2016A030312009), the project on the Integration of Industry, Education and Research of Guangdong Province (2015B090903070 and 2013B0906001), the Program of the Guangdong Science and Technology Department (2016B020242005 and 2015B020235008), and Guangdong college student’s research fund (pdjh 2016a0052).
Conflict of Interest
Lei Xiang declares that he has no conflict of interest. Teng-Fei Sun declares that she has no conflict of interest. Lei Chen declares that he has no conflict of interest. Tao Xiao declares that he has no conflict of interest. Quan-Ying Cai declares that she has no conflict of interest. Hui Li declares that she has no conflict of interest. De-Chun He declares that he has no conflict of interest. Ming-Hung Wong declares that he has no conflict of interest. Yan-Wen Li declares that she has no conflict of interest. Ce-Hui Mo declares that he has no conflict of interest.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
Informed consent is not applicable.
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