Sample Profiling of Pesticide Formulations Using UV and MS Detection for Component Identification

By January 16, 2015

For the agricultural chemicals industry, the analytical quality control of pesticide products ensures that a consistent and effective product reaches the farm. More specifically, the detection, characterization, and quantitation of the active ingredient(s) as well as all other components in the formulation, including impurities and degradation products, are necessary to support product development, quality control, and product registration.

The addition of a mass detector in conjunction with UV detection can increase the specificity and selectivity of methods used during analytical testing to provide additional information about a sample during analysis. When MS data is combined with the UV response, it allows the analyst to determine a wider range of analytes in one analytical run with an increased level of confidence.

In this application note, optical and mass detection were combined to provide a more thorough profile of a commercially available pesticide formulation concentrate.


UV chromatogram of the formulation at 220 nm compared with the ACQUITY QDa Detector’s mass chromatogram. The signal response of all components improved in the mass chromatogram compared with the UV chromatogram, which illustrates the improved likelihood of detecting low-level components using mass detection (Click image to enlarge).

Formulation components that could not be seen in the UV were clearly observed in the mass chromatogram, demonstrating that mass spectrometry combined with UV detection can give a more comprehensive sample profile.

Waters’ ACQUITY QDa Detector is a novel mass detector that can be integrated into existing liquid chromatography configurations in order to complement the results obtained by optical detectors:

  • Improved sensitivity over UV for low-level components present in the pesticide formulation.
  • Increased confidence in peak identification when mass detection is used with PDA detection.
  • Structural similarities between the active ingredient and the low-level components can be identified in a single analysis.

Empower CDS Software’s mass analysis window provides a single place to associate the chromatograms and spectra from all detectors used in the analysis. The consolidation of this information in one place makes data review and interpretation easy.
View the full application note.

Categories: Chemical, Technologies