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Journal of Chemistry
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 682975, 9 pages
Research Article

Determination of Phthalate Plasticisers in Palm Oil Using Online Solid Phase Extraction-Liquid Chromatography (SPE-LC)

1Chemistry Department of Malaysia, Jalan Sultan, 46661 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
2Faculty of Applied Sciences, Universiti Teknologi MARA, 40450 Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia

Received 7 October 2013; Accepted 2 January 2014; Published 19 February 2014

Academic Editor: Cato Brede

Copyright © 2014 Nazarudin Ibrahim et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Contamination of phthalates plasticisers to food has raised concern as some of the phthalates are suspected to be endocrine disruptors. The phthalates have high affinity with oily environment and analysing these chemicals in such matrices is difficult because of the trace amount of the analyte and interference from matrix. An online solid phase extraction (SPE) technique using a large volume (3.5 mL) injection was developed for the analysis of 6 common plasticisers in palm oil. A simple sample preparation involving alumina as a fat retainer and methanol : acetonitrile (1 : 1) as the extraction solvent was performed prior to the usage of online SPE-LC system. This system consists of two columns, C16 for the solid phase extraction (SPE) and C18 as the analytical column, and a photo diode array detector. The calibration curves were linear from 5 to 1000 g L−1, with correlation coefficients above 0.99. The instrumental limit of detection was 3 g L−1 and satisfactory recovery was obtained. A screening on a few samples in the retail market revealed the presence of dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and butylbenzylphthalate (BBP) in the palm oil, with concentration less than 1 mg L−1.