BACKGROUND: The objective of this study was to develop the quantitative and qualitative analytical methods for determination and identification of 261 pesticides in herbal medicines.
METHOD AND RESULTS: The developed method was validated using 4 herbal medicine samples such as cnidium, korean angelica root, chinese matrimony vine and jujube. The extraction of pesticides was carried out by modified the Korea Food Standards Codex sample extraction and determination was performed using GC-MS/MS and LC-MS/MS. As a results, LOQ of all the pesticides were set as less than 0.01 mg/kg and RSD was less than 20%, which validation results meet all the criteria level of SANCO and CODEX guidelines for pesticide residue analysis. Among pesticides analysed by GC-MS/MS and LC-MS/MS, 243 pesticides (93% of total number) in chinese matrimony vine and 225 pesticides (86% of total number) in korean angelica root and 228 pesticides in jujube (87% of total number) and 212 (81% of total number) in cnidium showed recoveries in the range of 70-120% with RSD less than 20%.
CONCLUSION: The established method in this study was possible to manage the qualitative and quantitative analysis of trace amounts of pesticides that remain in herbal medicines. Moreover, the devleoped method is expected lots of use in pesticide residue inspection institutes and will contribute to the safe distribution of herbal medicine under MRL.