Analysis of Pesticides in Lemon Oil Extract Using Deconvolution Software

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The analysis of food for trace levels of pesticides is commonly performed to meet regulatory requirements and ensure product safety. In some instances, a natural product such as lemon oil is used as a flavor enhancer, and the level of pesticides in the enhancer must be ascertained before it can be added to the foodstuff. The analysis of pesticides in natural products can be fairly challenging, and long separation times are frequently required.

The enhancer may contain hundreds of compounds (many of which are normally present at trace levels). Gas chromatography with mass spectrometric (GC/MS) detection has become the preferred analytical technique for the analysis of pesticides in natural products. A number of approaches have been used to improve both the selectivity and sensitivity of the analysis, including two dimensional GC (which can be a time consuming and expensive process) and retention time locked GC/MS techniques with dedicated libraries (which work well when the sample is not too complex).

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