Determination of multiple antibiotics in leafy vegetables using QuEChERS–UHPLC–MS/MS

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EarlyView Article

  • Published: Dec 11, 2017
  • Author: Xiaolu Yu, Hang Liu, Chengjun Pu, Junhao Chen, Ying Sun, Lin Hu
  • Journal: Journal of Separation Science


A modified quick, easy, cheap, effective, rugged, and safe method was established for simultaneous extraction and cleanup of multiple antibiotics in leafy vegetables, and ultra‐high performance liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry was used for analysis. Antibiotics in leafy vegetables were extracted with citric acid/sodium citrate in mixed solvents consisting of acetonitrile/methanol (85:15, v/v) from 10 g of vegetables. Octadecylsilyl and graphitized carbon black were used as dispersant adsorbents. This method was able to effectively extract all of the target antibiotics from leafy vegetables. The average recoveries of 20 antibiotics ranged from 57 to 91%. The limits of detection were 0.33–2.92 μg/kg. The developed method subsequently demonstrated its selectivity, sensitivity, and reliability for detecting multiple antibiotics in 15 samples. Antibiotic residues in vegetables have attracted great concern with respect to human health. It is recommended that standards should be established for antibiotic residues in vegetables to ensure food safety.

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