Glyphosate, Glufosinate and AMPA Analysis

CHRONECT Workbench Glyfosaat

Axel Semrau® developed the automated Chronect Glyphosate Workstation for this purpose. The first step of the robot is a derivatisation with the FMOC connection so that the target molecules become more non-polar. The specialised Chronect SPE then extracts the desired substances using the supplied glyphosate cartridges. HPLC analysis then provides a quantitative determination, combined with a Sciex Triple Quad 5500 LC-MS/MS spectrometer.

For this analysis, LC-MS/MS in combination with derivatisation of the analytes is the most commonly used technique. The addition of online SPE offers two important advantages:

With one enrichment step, the feasible detection and determination limits are improved.
Method matrix components are removed and side effects such as ion suppression are reduced. This is a serious advantage especially for the LC-MS coupling.

What is glyphosate?

Glyphosate is a chemical compound from the Phosphates group and the world’s most widely used herbicide/pesticide. It was first made and used in 1950. Since then it has been introduced into our environment. Glyphosate is mainly converted by micro-organisms. The degradation takes place via the compound Aminomethyl phosphonic acid (AMPA), which therefore also acquires an analytical relevance.

Both are controlled in the environment and now also in food.

The analysis of a polar substance such as glyphosate, for example by means of column chromatography in difficult matrices such as cocoa or tea, is a challenge.

Pesticides in tea

The detection limit in black tea, a difficult matrix, is 3 µg/kg. This sensitivity is necessary because the EU has set a maximum residue limit (MRL) of 10 µg/kg. The CHRONECT Workstation Glyphosate achieves a recovery of between 86 and 96% and a repeatability of ~ 10% for the detection of glyphosate, AMPA and glufosinate.

The MRL is a limit value that indicates the maximum permitted residual content (residue) of a pesticide. If the MRL is not exceeded, the toxic (health) limits such as the acceptable daily intake (ADI) are also not exceeded. The automation of all steps saves a lot of time and the combination of techniques, even in difficult matrices, results in a high sensitivity, even in difficult matrices.

CHRONECT Glyphosate Workstation

This workstation has been specially developed by Axel Semrau for the determination of glyphosate, glufosinate and AMPA in complex matrices such as food.

Manual steps required for sample preparation have been reduced to just 10 minutes. Further sample preparation and measurement is fully automated in approximately 40 minutes.

The workstation consists of an XYZ robot with a centrifuge, vortexer and agitator, an online SPE-unit with prepared methods and specialised cartridges CHROSPE Glyphosate.

The use of standard SPE cartridges for simple matrices, for example C8 – C18 phases, is possible. CHRONECT Workstation Glyphosate comes with ready-to-use methods for different matrices.

As a front-end solution, the workstation can be connected to various LC-MS/MS systems. Direct injection, online SPE with or without derivation of the sample are directly available on the device.

System configuration:

  • SPH1299 UHPLC pump
  • ACE Single Clamp 250 or 1000 bar, 1x UHPLC valves
  • HPD MIX 1x SSM / Organizer, Mistral column oven
  • CHRONECT Symbiosis Autosampler with Park Station & Tool
  • Change, 2 valves, centrifuge, vortexer, agitator, Fast Wash Module, Solvent Module, Tray Plate with 3 Trays VT15 10/20 mL Automatic Tool Change
  • CHRONOS Symbiosis for the control system

Additional options:

  • Mistral CS Cool UHPLC for Easy Column handling
  • Sample Cooling with Peltier Stacks (4 to 40 °C)
  • Solvent Module with 3 additional solvents for the PAL Sampler
  • Larger capacity with more shelving
  • Integration of workflows with 2D Barcode Reader


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