Rapid determination of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in tea using two-dimensional gas chromatography coupled with time of flight mass spectrometry
A simple, fast, and cost effective sample preparation procedure has been developed and validated for the determination of 15+1 European Union Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (15+1 EU PAHs) in dried tea leave samples. Based on a critical assessment of several sample extraction/clean-up approaches, the method based on the ethyl acetate extraction followed by the use of PAHs dedicated cartridges with molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) has been found as an optimal alternative in terms of time demands and obtained good extract purity. For the final identification/quantification of target PAHs, two dimensional gas chromatography coupled to a time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC×GC–TOFMS) was used. The performance characteristics of the overall analytical method for individual PAHs determined at three spiking levels (0.5, 2.5 and 5 Î¼g kg−1) were in following ranges: limits of quantitation (LOQs) 0.05–0.2 Î¼g kg−1, repeatabilities 2–9%, and recoveries 73–103%. The recoveries achieved by the newly developed sample preparation procedure when employed for naturally contaminated sample (“incurred” PAHs) were comparable to those obtained by other routinely used approaches employing sonication and/or pressurised liquid extraction for sample analytes isolation. The validated method was subsequently used for the determination of selected genotoxic PAHs in 36 samples of black and green tea obtained from the Czech retail market. The levels of Î£PAH4 (sum of benzo[a]anthracene (BaA), chrysene (CHR), benzo[b]fluoranthene (BbFA) and benzo[a]pyrene (BaP)) in black and green tea leaves ranged from 7.4 to 700 Î¼g kg−1 and from 4.5 to 102 Î¼g kg−1, respectively. Contamination of tested tea samples by BaP was in the range of 0.2–152 Î¼g kg−1. âº New rapid procedure for analysis of 15+1 EU PAHs in dried tea leaves was developed. âº Ethyl acetate extraction followed by clean-up using SupelMIP™ was used. âº GC×GC–TOFMS enabled satisfactory separation/quantification of critical PAH groups.