Determination of DDT in honey samples by liquid–liquid extraction with low-temperature purification (LLE-LTP) combined to HPLC-DAD†
Honey is widely consumed worldwide, however, this food can be contaminated by chemical contaminants, such as the insecticide dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT). Despite legal restrictions on DDT use, this organochlorine pesticide has been detected in honey collected in several developed and developing countries, representing risks to human health, animals, and the environment due to its high environmental persistence, potential carcinogenicity, and ecotoxicological effects. Thus, the development of an analytical method for DDT monitoring in this matrix is important to ensure food security. Therefore, this study aimed to optimize and validate a simple, low-cost, and efficient method using the liquid–liquid extraction with low-temperature purification (LLE-LTP) to determine DDT in honey samples by high-performance liquid chromatography with diode array detector (HPLC-DAD). The proposed method was validated according to SANTE guidelines, being considered selective, precise, accurate, and linear in the range of 8.0–160 μg kg−1. The limits of detection (LOD) and quantification (LOQ) achieved were 4.0 and 8.0 μg kg−1, respectively. This LOQ value is lower than the maximum residue limit established by the Brazilian and European Union legislation. Therefore, the LLE-LTP combined to HPLC-DAD allows the routine analysis of DDT in honey samples and can be widely applied in studies to monitor this pesticide, especially in developing countries, where DDT use is still allowed.