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Volume 5 (2005), Pages 11-19
Research Article

Impacts of Extraction Methods in the Rapid Determination of Atrazine Residues in Foods using Supercritical Fluid Chromatography and Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay: Microwave Solvent vs. Supercritical Fluid Extractions

1Department of Chemistry and Environmental Toxicology, 3100 Cleburne Avenue, Texas Southern University, Houston, Texas, USA
2Department of Microbiology, Abia State University, Uturu, Nigeria

Received 28 November 2004; Revised 17 December 2004; Accepted 19 December 2004

Copyright © 2005 Mohamed H. El-Saeid et al.


It is an accepted fact that many food products that we eat today have the possibility of being contaminated by various chemicals used from planting to processing. These chemicals have been shown to cause illnesses for which some concerned government agencies have instituted regulatory mechanisms to minimize the risks and the effects on humans. It is for these concerns that reliable and accurate rapid determination techniques are needed to effect proper regulatory standards for the protection of people's nutritional health. This paper, therefore, reports the comparative evaluation of the extraction methods in the determination of atrazine (commonly used in agricultural as a herbicide) residues in foods using supercritical fluid chromatography (SFC) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) techniques. Supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) and microwave solvent extraction (MSE) methods were used to test samples of frozen vegetables, fruit juice, and jam from local food markets in Houston. Results showed a high recovery percentage of atrazine residues using supercritical fluid coupled with ELISA and SFC than with MSE. Comparatively, however, atrazine was detected 90.9 and 54.5% using SFC and ELISA techniques, respectively. ELISA technique was, however, less time consuming, lower in cost, and more sensitive with low detection limit of atrazine residues than SFC technique.