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The QuEChERS-method was developed by Michelangelo Anastassiades in the years 2001 and 2002 during his post-doc visit at the USDA/ARS-ERRC in Wyndmoor/Pennsylvania (USA) in the research group of Steven Lehotay. Initially the methodology was developed for the analysis of veterinary drugs (anthelmintics and thyreostats) in animal tissues but after realizing its great potential in the extraction of polar and particularly basic compounds it was also tested on pesticide residue analysis in plant material with great success.

The new method for the analysis of pesticide residues in plant material was first presented in June 2002 at the EPRW 2002 in Rome (Anastassiades, M., S.J. Lehotay, D. Stajnbaher: „Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effective, Rugged and Safe (QuEChERS) approach for the determination of pesticide residues“). The detailed method was first published in 2003 (M. Anastassiades, S. J. Lehotay, D. Stajnbaher, F.J. Schenck, JAOAC Int 86(2) 412-31(see Literature).

The pesticide residue laboratory of the CVUA Stuttgart has been using QuEChERS (original version) for routine pesticide analysis of fruit and vegetables since the beginning of 2002 and has employed it for the first time in EU-PT 4 on orange matrix (2002) with excellent results.

The original method was modified in the following years to enlarge both, pesticide and commodity scope. Of great importance was the introduction of buffering salts to improve recoveries of pH-dependant analytes. Lehotay, S. J., K. Mastovska, et al., J AOAC Int 88(2): 615-29, (see Literature) have introduced acetate buffering to achieve a pH value of 6 for all samples. This approach resulted in the official method AOAC 2007.01

At the CVUA Stuttgart Anastassiades et al. refined QuEChERS using citrate salts for buffering, and elaborated conditions to allow the analysis of various difficult commodities and pesticides. The citrate buffered method resulted in the European Standard EN 15662 (Foods of Plant Origin – Determination of Pesticide Residues Using GC-MS and/or LC-MS/MS Following Acetonitrile Extraction/Partitioning and Clean-up by Dispersive SPE (QuEChERS method)) published in 2008 (www.cen.eu)

Great amount of data was generated by various laboratories around the world to validate the QuEChERS-method. Given the large amount of data a special database has been developed to allow the systematic storage and selective retrieval of the validation data of QuEChERS and other methods. This database is incorporated in the EURL-datapool webpage (www.eurl-pesticides-datapool.eu) and already contains more than 120.000 individual recoveries concerning ca. 650 pesticides and metabolites. Access requires registration.

In the last years numerous research groups worked with QuEChERS and expanded the scope of analytical applicability of the method for example for natural contaminants, veterinary drugs, mycotoxins and other fields.

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last update: 2011-05-15