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Technologies for the Detection of Chemical and Biological Contaminants in Foods


1. Develop methods to increase sample throughput in order to improve monitoring of chemical contaminants in foods. Specifically: investigate faster screening and/or analytical approaches, and faster data processing without loss of reliability. 1A. Develop and evaluate new, useful analytical multiresidue methods that are faster than existing methods without sacrificing quality of results. 1B. Investigate practical means of processing analytical results in multiresidue analysis that lead to reliable, objective decisions with minimal human review. 1C. Develop and evaluate improved analytical screening methods in the analysis of chemicals of interest in foods. 1D. Study and implement robotic sample preparation systems to increase speed and reduce manual labor for routine analysis of chemical residues in foods.

2. Conduct research to evaluate the validity of new approaches for regulatory monitoring of veterinary drug residues in foods and feeds. Specifically: an assessment of sampling procedures and addressing matrix effects in quantification. 2A. Lead and conduct an AOAC International Collaborative Study to update and harmonize the QuEChERS method for analysis of chemical residues in a wide variety of foods. 2B. Investigate sampling and sample processing of appropriate matrices, taking matrix effects into account, for veterinary drug residue analysis to yield meaningful results in a fast and practical procedure. 2C. Lead and conduct an interlaboratory validation study to quantitatively and qualitatively assess our multiclass, multiresidue method for veterinary drugs in food tissue matrices.

3. Develop biosensor methods with multi-analyte capability for biological toxins of concern.

4. Modify/refine novel method for routine measurement of total phenolics, phytoestrogens and/or estrogenic endocrine disruptors. 4A. Expand application of our total phenolics method to other food and dietary products; and identify the reaction products of the key reagent with select phenolic compounds. 4B. Modify the method to screen for estrogenic compounds, including bisphenol A.

5. Develop novel analytical methods for inorganic and organometallic heavy metals (for example forms of mercury (Hg) and arsenic (As)) in foods and supplements. 5A. Develop modern analytical methods for mercury speciation and quantification in foods and supplements. 5B. Develop modern analytical methods for arsenic speciation and quantification in foods and supplements.

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1a) Evaluate novel mass spectrometric methods such as ambient mass spectrometry and supersonic molecular beam mass spectrometry combined with fast gas chromatography; 1b) use robotic systems to develop fast, automated sample cleanup approaches for routine monitoring purposes; 1c) devise data handling software that is faster and better at compiling the needed information for validating multi-class, multiresidue methods for analysis;

2a) multi-laboratory AOAC International collaborative studies will be pursued to achieve the gold standard quality in method validation; 2b) both gas chromatography and liquid chromatography (LC) combined with tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) will be used to assess and address matrix effects in chemical residue analysis of foods;

3) surface plasmon resonance biosensing instrumentation and techniques will be used to develop advanced new methods for multiple toxins of concern;

4) both LC-MS/MS and novel, quick chemical test methods will be used to measure total phenolics, phytoestrogens and endocrine disruptors; and

5) LC combined with atomic fluorescence spectroscopy will be used to rapidly and accurately determine different organometallic species of Hg and As in foods and supplements.

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Chen, Guoying
Lehotay, Steven
Medina, Marjorie
Sapozhnikova, Yelena
Schneider, Marilyn
Project Reports:
Published Journal Articles USDA ARS (NP 108):
Rapid sample preparation and fast GC-MS/MS for the analysis of pesticides and environmental contaminants in fish
Sapozhnikova Y.
LC GC N Am. 2014 Nov;:878-86.
Structural characterization of product ions by electrospray ionization and quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry to support regulatory analysis of veterinary drug residues in foods
Nunez A, Geis-Asteggiante L, Lehotay SJ, Lightfield AR.
Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom. 2014 May 30;28(10):1061-81.
Streamlined sample cleanup using combined dispersive solid-phase extraction and in-vial filtration for analysis of pesticides and environmental pollutants in shrimp
Han L, Sapozhnikova Y, Lehotay SJ.
Anal Chim Acta. 2014 May 27;827:40-6.
Development of LC-MS/MS method for analysis of polyphenolic compounds in juice, tea and coffee samples
Sapozhnikova YV .
Food Chem. 2014 May 1;150:87-93.
SPE speciation of inorganic arsenic in rice followed by hydride-generation atomic fluorescence spectrometric quantification
Chen G, Chen T.
Talanta. 2014 Feb 15;119:202–6.
Analysis of pesticide residues in strawberries and soils by GC-MS/MS, LC-MS/MS and two-dimensional GC-time-of-flight MS comparing organic and integrated pest management farming
Fernandes VC, Lehotay SJ, Geis-Asteggiante L, Kwon H, Mol HG, van der Kamp H, Mateus N, Domingues VF, Delerue-Matos C.
Food Addit Contam Part A Chem Anal Control Expo Risk Assess. 2014 Feb;31(2):262-70.
Evaluation of low-pressure gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method for analysis of >140 pesticides in fish
Sapozhnikova YV.
J Agric Food Chem. 2014 Jan 3. [Epub ahead of print]
The use of ultra-high pressure liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometric detection in the analysis of agrochemical residues and mycotoxins in food - challenges and applications
O'Mahony J, Clarke L, Whelan M, O'Kennedy R, Lehotay SJ, Danaher M.
J Chromatogr A. 2013 May 31;1292:83-95.
Hot topic: investigating the risk of violative meat residues in bob veal calves fed colostrum from cows treated at dry-off with cephapirin benzathine
Hausler K, Godden SM, Schneider MJ, Lightfield AR, Bulthaus M, Haines D.
J Dairy Sci. 2013 Apr;96(4):2349-55.
Luminescence screening of enrofloxacin and ciprofloxacin residues in swine liver after dispersive liquid-liquid microextraction cleanup
Chen G, Li Q.
J Agric Food Chem. 2013 Jan 9;61(1):98-102.
Multi-class, multi-residue analysis of pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polybrominated diphenyl ethers and novel flame retardants in fish using fast, low-pressure gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry
Sapozhnikova Y, Lehotay SJ.
Anal Chim Acta. 2013 Jan 3;758:80-92.
Prevalence of veterinary drug residues and heavy metals in catfish nuggets
Ozbay G, Babu BK, Chen G.
J Food Process Technol. 2013;S11:005.
A rapid analysis of lipid A in foods by supercritical fluid chromatography - mass spectrometry
Chen Y, Lehotay SJ, Moreau RA.
Anal Methods. 2013;5:6864-9.
Variability of matrix effects in liquid and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis of pesticide residues after QuEChERS sample preparation of different food crops
Kwon H, Lehotay SJ, Geis-Asteggiante L.
J Chromatogr A. 2012 Dec 28;1270:235-45.
Ruggedness testing and validation of a practical analytical method for >100 veterinary drug residues in bovine muscle by ultrahigh performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry
Geis-Asteggiante L, Lehotay SJ, Lightfield AR, Dutko T, Ng C, Bluhm L.
J Chromatogr A. 2012 Oct 5;1258:43-54.
Screening of fluoroquinolone residues in caprine milk using a 5-kg luminescence photometer
Chen G.
Food Anal Methods. 2012 Oct;5(5):1114-20.
Effects of temperature and purity of magnesium sulfate during extraction of pesticide residues using the QuEChERS method
Geis-Asteggiante L, Lehotay SJ, Heinzen H.
J AOAC Int. 2012 Sep;95(5):1311-8.
Nontargeted comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography/time-of-flight mass spectrometry method and software for inventorying persistent and bioaccumulative contaminants in marine environments
Hoh E, Dodder NG, Lehotay SJ, Pangallo KC, Reddy CM, Maruya KA.
Environ Sci Technol. 2012 Aug 7;46(15):8001-8.
Bioactivities of acaí (Euterpe precatoria Mart.) fruit pulp, superior antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to Euterpe oleracea Mar
Kang J, Thakali K, Xie C, Kondo M, Tong Y, Ou B, Jensen G, Medina M, Schauss A, Wu X.
Food Chem. 2012 Aug 1;133(3):671-7.
Development and validation of a streamlined method designed to detect residues of 62 veterinary drugs in bovine kidney using ultra-high performance liquid chromatography--tandem mass spectrometry
Lehotay SJ, Lightfield AR, Geis-Asteggiante L, Schneider MJ, Dutko T, Ng C, Bluhm L, Mastovska K.
Drug Test Anal. 2012 Aug;4Suppl1:75-90.
Evaluation of a multi-class, multi-residue liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method for analysis of 120 veterinary drugs in bovine kidney
Schneider MJ, Lehotay SJ, Lightfield AR.
Drug Test Anal. 2012 Aug;4Suppl1:91-102.
Latex agglutination assays for detection of non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli serogroups O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, and O145
Medina MB, Shelver WL, Fratamico PM, Fortis L, Tillman G, Narang N, Cray WC Jr, Esteban E, Debroy A.
J Food Prot. 2012 May;75(5):819-26.
A 5-kg time-resolved luminescence photometer with multiple excitation sources
Chen G.
Appl Spectrosc. 2012 Mar;66(3):341-6.
Fast, low-pressure gas chromatography triple quadrupole tandem mass spectrometry for analysis of 150 pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables
Koesukwiwat U, Lehotay SJ, Leepipatpiboon N.
J Chromatogr A. 2011 Sep 28;1218(39):7039-50.
Non-Journal Publications:
A multiclass multiresidue LC-MS/MS method for analysis of veterinary drugs in bovine kidney - (Proceedings)
Schneider, M.J., Lehotay, S.J., Lightfield, A.R. 2012. A multiclass multiresidue LC-MS/MS method for analysis of veterinary drugs in bovine kidney. Euroresidue Conference Proceedings. 2:515.
The 47th annual Florida pesticide residue workshop - (Proceedings)
Lehotay, S.J., Cochran, J. 2011. The 47th annual Florida pesticide residue workshop. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 59:7535-7535.
Partners in research exceed the sum of the parts: partners > parts - (Trade Journal)
Lehotay, S.J. 2011. Partners in research exceed the sum of the parts: partners > parts. Inside Laboratory Management. 15(3):11.
Food Safety Categories:
Contaminants and Contamination
Government Policy and Regulations
Farm-to-Table Categories:
On-farm food production
Food processing