Significant speed improvement for instrumental runtime would make GC–MS much more attractive for determination of pesticides and contaminants and as complementary technique to LC–MS. This was the trigger to develop a fast method (time between injections less than 10 min) for the determination of pesticides and PCBs that are not (or less) amenable to LC–MS. A key factor in achieving shorter analysis time was the use of split injection (1:10) which allowed the use of a much higher initial GC oven temperature. A shorter column (15 m), higher temperature ramp, and higher carrier gas flow rate (6 mL/min) further contributed to analysis-time reduction. Chromatographic resolution was slightly compromised but still well fit-for-purpose. Due to the high sensitivity of the technique used (GC–APCI-triple quadrupole MS/MS), quantification and identification were still possible down to the 10 μg/kg level, which was demonstrated by successful validation of the method for complex feed matrices according to EU guidelines. Other advantages of the method included a better compatibility of acetonitrile extracts (e.g. QuEChERS) with GC, and a reduced transfer of co-extractants into the GC column and mass spectrometer.
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