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Open AccessArticle

Screening of Carbamate and Organophosphate Pesticides in Food Matrices Using an Affordable and Simple Spectrophotometric Acetylcholinesterase Assay

Department of Food Analysis and Nutrition, Faculty of Food and Biochemical Technology, University of Chemistry and Technology Prague, Technická 5, 166 28 Prague 6- Dejvice, Prague, Czech Republic
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Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(2), 565; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10020565
Received: 3 December 2019 / Revised: 8 January 2020 / Accepted: 9 January 2020 / Published: 13 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Spectroscopy in Food Analysis)
Carbamates (CMs) and organophosphates (OPs) are widely used pesticides with known neurotoxicity arising from the inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (AChE). When AChE is active, in vitro, it can hydrolyze certain substrates to colored products while in the presence of an inhibitor this color development is decreased. Based on this principle, an AChE assay for CM and OP compounds was optimized and validated for carbofuran, carbofuran-3-hydroxy and dichlorvos in lettuce and strawberry extracts. The analytical performance of the assay was confirmed by an accredited liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS) method. The developed AChE assay achieved low limits of detection (LODs) at the part per billion (ppb) level, depending the analyte inhibitory strength, recovery rates higher than 70% and good repeatability. Moreover, the toxic unit (TU) approach was applied, for extracts containing the validated analytes, and antagonism was noticed in all cases. Overall, the developed method is rapid, simple, cost-effective and may find application as a low-cost pre-screening tool of AChE inhibitors presence. Last but not least, this study can be considered a guide on development, validation and benchmarking of bioassays in food safety, a topic, which is commonly mispresented in the available literature. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbamates; organophosphates; pesticides; acetylcholinesterase; food; screening method; microwell-plate assay; liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry carbamates; organophosphates; pesticides; acetylcholinesterase; food; screening method; microwell-plate assay; liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry
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Tsagkaris, A.S.; Uttl, L.; Pulkrabova, J.; Hajslova, J. Screening of Carbamate and Organophosphate Pesticides in Food Matrices Using an Affordable and Simple Spectrophotometric Acetylcholinesterase Assay. Appl. Sci. 2020, 10, 565.

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