Simultaneous determination of residue from 58 pesticides in the wheat flour consumed in Tehran, Iran by GC/MS

Document Type : Research article


1 Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 bFood and Drug Laboratory Research Center, Food and Drug Organization, MOH & ME, Tehran, Iran

3 Food and Drug Reference Control Laboratories Center, Food and Drug Organization, MOH & ME, Tehran, Iran


Background: Food safety has a direct impact on human health and as such is a growing concern worldwide. Presence of harmful pesticide residue in food is a serious cause for concern among consumers so it is important to monitor levels of pesticides in foods. The aim of this study was simultaneous determination of amounts of 58 pesticides in 40 wheat flour samples collected from the Tehran market in January, 2014.
The city under study (Tehran) was divided into five districts and samples were collected independently from each district and sourced from different bakeries (n=40). A gas chromatography-mass spectrometry single quadrupole selected ion monitoring GC/MS-SQ-SIM was used to quantify residue of 58 pesticides in the wheat flour samples.
Results: Four of the 40 samples showed contamination with Malathion (2 samples: 50.96 and 62.088 ppb) and 2, 4-DDE (2 samples: 19.88 and 13.7 ppb), had levels below MRLs of these pesticides in Iran. Averages of recovery of pesticide at 6 concentration levels were in the range of 81.61-118.41%. The method was proven as repeatable with RSDr in the range of 6.5-29.45% for all concentration levels. The limit of quantification for 37 of the tested pesticides was calculated as15 ppb and for the other 21 tested pesticides, the amount was 25 ppb.
Conclusions: In summary, results of these tests suggested that the wheat flour consumed in Tehran, was within safety limits in terms of levels of pesticide residues.


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