Uncertainty of the sample size reduction step in pesticide residue analysis of large-sized crops

Omeroglu P., Ambrus A., Boyacioglu D., Majzik E. S.

FOOD ADDITIVES AND CONTAMINANTS PART A-CHEMISTRY ANALYSIS CONTROL EXPOSURE & RISK ASSESSMENT, vol.30, no.1, pp.116-126, 2013 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


To estimate the uncertainty of the sample size reduction step, each unit in laboratory samples of papaya and cucumber was cut into four segments in longitudinal directions and two opposite segments were selected for further homogenisation while the other two were discarded. Jackfruit was cut into six segments in longitudinal directions, and all segments were kept for further analysis. To determine the pesticide residue concentrations in each segment, they were individually homogenised and analysed by chromatographic methods. One segment from each unit of the laboratory sample was drawn randomly to obtain 50 theoretical sub-samples with an MS Office Excel macro. The residue concentrations in a sub-sample were calculated from the weight of segments and the corresponding residue concentration. The coefficient of variation calculated from the residue concentrations of 50 sub-samples gave the relative uncertainty resulting from the sample size reduction step. The sample size reduction step, which is performed by selecting one longitudinal segment from each unit of the laboratory sample, resulted in relative uncertainties of 17% and 21% for field-treated jackfruits and cucumber, respectively, and 7% for post-harvest treated papaya. The results demonstrated that sample size reduction is an inevitable source of uncertainty in pesticide residue analysis of large-sized crops. The post-harvest treatment resulted in a lower variability because the dipping process leads to a more uniform residue concentration on the surface of the crops than does the foliar application of pesticides.