Method Development and Validation of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances in Foods from FDA's Total Diet Study Program

By Susan Genualdi, Wendy Young, Lowri DeJager, and Timothy Begley
J Agric Food Chem
May 19, 2021
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jafc.1c01777

Human exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) through the US diet has not been well-characterized. Highly consumed foods are routinely monitored through FDA's Total Diet Study program. Portions of these samples were used to develop and validate a method for PFAS in a wide variety of foods. The extraction of 16 PFAS was performed using the quick, easy, cheap, effective, rugged, and safe (QuEChERS) method and analyzed by liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry. Method optimizations are described including investigations into the QuEChERS sorbents, matrix effects, and solid-phase extraction (SPE) cartridges. The use of a custom push-through SPE cartridge showed promising results as a rapid cleanup option for food samples. Challenges in ion confirmation are discussed, and the use of enhanced product ion (EPI) full-scan MS/MS spectra is presented as a potential option for verifying false positives. The validated method was then used for the analysis of 179 total diet study samples, and positive detects for perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) were found in two fish and one meat sample.

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