We developed a rapid and simple method which combines a surface swab capture method and surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy for recovery and quantitative detection of thiabendazole on apple surfaces. The whole apple surface was swabbed and the swab was vortexed in methanol releasing the pesticide. Silver dendrites were then added to bind the pesticide and used for enhancing the Raman signals. The recovery of the surface swab method was calculated to be 59.4-76.6% for intentionally contaminated apples at different levels (0.1, 0.3, 3, and 5 ppm, μg/g per weight). After considering the releasing factor (66.6%) from the swab, the final accuracy of the swab-SERS method was calculated to be between 89.2% and 115.4%. This swab-SERS method is simple, sensitive, rapid (∼10 min), and quantitative enough for QA/QC in plant procedure. This can be extended to detect other pesticides on raw agricultural produce like pears, carrots, and melons etc.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This project was supported by the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Program of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA-AFRI, Grant No. 2012-67017-30194).
- Surface swab
- Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy