Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania » Eastern Regional Research Center » Residue Chemistry and Predictive Microbiology Research » Research » Research Project #439576

Research Project: Technology Development, Evaluation and Validation for the Detection and Characterization of Chemical Contaminants in Foods

Location: Residue Chemistry and Predictive Microbiology Research

Project Number: 8072-42000-088-00-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Jan 19, 2021
End Date: Jan 18, 2026

Objective:
Objective 1: Transfer the QuEChERS mega-method to FSIS for the replacement of separate methods for pesticides, veterinary drugs, and other contaminants in foods. Sub-objective 1A: Transfer the QuEChERSER mega-method. Sub-objective 1B: Extend the QuEChERSER mega-method to plant and fungal toxins in pertinent matrices. Sub-objective 1C: Conduct an inter-laboratory validation of the QuEChERSER mega-method. Objective 2: Evaluate and compare triple quadrupole MS/MS analysis in both fast GC and UHPLC using high-resolution orbital ion trap MS/MS. Sub-objective 2A: Directly compare results from shared final extracts by the different analytical methods. Sub-objective 2B: Speed mega-method monitoring via 5 min each isocratic UHPLC with dual column switching backflushing and ITSP+LPGC MS-based analyses. Objective 3: Develop novel multi-element analytical methods for heavy metals such as mercury, arsenic, cadmium, and lead in foods. Sub-objective 3A: Develop volatile species generation (VSG) methods for determination of Pb and Cd in foods. Sub-objective 3B: Achieve high productivity based on dual-mode VSG and pneumatic nebulization sample introduction. Objective 4: Develop methods of analysis for emerging chemical contaminants not routinely monitored in FSIS regulated products. Sub-objective 4A: Identify emerging contaminants, including food packaging chemicals that migrate into foods. Sub-objective 4B: Validate QuEChERSER for targeted emerging contaminants found to be of concern in FSIS-regulated foods in Sub-objective 4A. Sub-objective 4C: Conduct a market survey of food samples to study occurrence and levels of these contaminants to generate data for risk assessment.

Approach:
Develop and transfer analytical technologies and methods to stakeholders that are effective and efficient for the screening, quantification and/or identification of chemical contaminants of concern in foods. Assist implementation to stakeholders of high-throughput monitoring for hundreds of pesticides, veterinary drugs, and environmental/emerging contaminants in the same sample extract in a matter of minutes using an automated process, including data handling and analyte identification. More specifically: 1) transfer the QuEChERS mega-method to USDA-FSIS for the replacement of separate methods for pesticides, veterinary drugs, and other contaminants in foods; 2) evaluate and compare triple quadrupole tandem mass spectrometry (MS) analysis in both fast gas chromatography and ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography using high-resolution orbital ion trap MS/MS; 3) develop novel multi-element analytical methods for heavy metals such as mercury, arsenic, cadmium, and lead in foods; and 4) develop methods of analysis for emerging chemical contaminants not routinely monitored in FSIS-regulated products. The new methods and techniques will be validated to ensure their quality for reliable dissemination.