Analytical methodology to screen UV-filters and synthetic musk compounds in market tomatoes

Chemosphere. 2020 Jan:238:124605. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2019.124605. Epub 2019 Aug 16.


A Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effective, Rugged and Safe (QuEChERS) methodology followed by gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS) analysis was developed to extract thirteen synthetic musk compounds (SMCs: cashmeran, celestolide, phantolide, traseolide, galaxolide, tonalide, musk ambrette, musk xylene, musk ketone, musk tibetene, musk moskene, ethylene brassylate and exaltolide) and six ultraviolet-filters (UVFs: 2-ethylhexyl 4-dimethylaminobenzoate, 3-(4'-methylbenzylidene) camphor, 2-ethylhexyl 4-methoxycinnamate, 2-ethylhexyl 2-cyano-3,3-diphenylacrylate, benzophenone and drometrizole trisiloxane) from tomatoes. The proposed methodology was optimized: 2 g of freeze-dried tomato was extracted with 4 mL of water and 10 mL of ethyl acetate, adding 6 g of MgSO4 and 1.5 g of NaCl, then a dispersive solid-phase extraction was performed using 3 g of MgSO4, 300 mg of primary-secondary amino adsorbent (PSA) and 300 mg of octadecyl-silica (C18). Validation delivered recoveries between 81 (celestolide) and 119% (musk tibetene), with relative standard deviations <10%. The instrumental limit of detection varied from 0.02 (2-ethylhexyl 4-methoxycinnamate) to 3.00 pg (exaltolide and musk xylene). Regarding the method quantification limits, it ranged between 0.4 (celestolide) and 47.9 ng g-1 dw (exaltolide). The method was applied to different varieties of tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum), revealing UVFs and SMCs between 1 and 210 ng g-1 dw. Higher concentrations were found for benzophenone (29-210 ng g-1 dw) and galaxolide (9-53 ng g-1 dw). The risk associated to the ingestion of contaminated tomatoes has also been estimated, showing that a potential health risk is unlikely.

Keywords: Daily intake; GC-MS/MS; QuEChERS; Synthetic musk compounds; Tomatoes; UV-Filters.

MeSH terms

  • Benzophenones / analysis
  • Benzopyrans / analysis
  • Dinitrobenzenes / analysis
  • Fatty Acids, Monounsaturated / analysis*
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry / methods*
  • Indans / analysis
  • Solanum lycopersicum / chemistry*
  • Solid Phase Extraction
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry
  • Tetrahydronaphthalenes / analysis
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / analysis*
  • Xylenes / analysis


  • 5-acetyl-1,1,2,6-tetramethyl-3-isopropylindane
  • Benzophenones
  • Benzopyrans
  • Dinitrobenzenes
  • Fatty Acids, Monounsaturated
  • Indans
  • Tetrahydronaphthalenes
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Xylenes
  • musk
  • galaxolide
  • musk tibetine
  • moskene
  • musk xylene
  • acetyl methyl tetramethyl tetralin
  • musk ketone
  • benzophenone
  • musk ambrette (artificial)
  • 6,7-dihydro-1,1,2,3,3-pentamethyl-4-(5H)indanone