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Comparison of magnesium sulfate and sodium sulfate for removal of water from pesticide extracts of foods.

Journal of AOAC International (2002-10-11)
Frank J Schenck, Patrick Callery, Peter M Gannett, Jonathan R Daft, Steven J Lehotay
ABSTRACT

Water-miscible solvents, such as acetone and acetonitrile, effectively extract both polar and nonpolar pesticide residues from nonfatty foods. The addition of sodium chloride to the resulting acetonitrile-water or acetone-water extract (salting out) results in the separation of the water from the organic solvent. However, the organic solvent layer (pesticide extract) still contains some residual water, which can adversely affect separation procedures that follow, such as solid-phase extraction and/or gas chromatography. Drying agents, such as sodium sulfate or magnesium sulfate, are used to remove the water from the organic extracts. In the present study, we used nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to study the composition of the phases resulting from salting out and to compare the effectiveness of sodium sulfate and magnesium sulfate as drying agents. The study showed that considerable amounts of water remained in the organic phase after phase separation. Sodium sulfate was a relatively ineffective drying agent, removing little or no residual water from the organic solvent. Magnesium sulfate proved to be a much more effective drying agent.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Magnesium sulfate, anhydrous, ReagentPlus®, ≥99.5%
Sigma-Aldrich
Sodium sulfate, anhydrous for synthesis