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The present work proposes an analytical procedure to determine sulfathiazole in milk by using molecular fluorescence spectroscopy. For this sulfonamide the European Union in Regulation 37/2010 has established a maximum residue limit in milk of 100 μg kg(-1). The study includes the effect of six factors on the recovery of sulfathiazole. The factors are: (i) The one related to the matrix depending on the heat treatment of the milk (UHT, pasteurized); (ii) Those related to the protein precipitation step, namely the ratio between the volume of trichloroacetic acid (TCA) and milk, centrifugation speed and temperature; (iii) Those affecting the derivatization reaction: derivatization time and volume of fluorescamine. To do this, two chemometric tools are used together: a D-optimal design for studying the effect of the factors on the recovery of sulfathiazole, considerably reducing the number of needed experiments; and the second-order property of the PARAFAC (Parallel Factor Analysis) decomposition that avoids the need of fitting a new calibration model each time that the experimental conditions change. It has been found that the type of milk, the TCA:milk ratio and the volume of fluorescamine have significant effect on the response. The rest of factors and interactions are not significant. The best recovery is obtained with UHT milk, 4:6 rate for TCA:milk volumes and 40 μL of fluorescamine. In UHT milk, the mean recovery (n=5) in the optimal conditions is 88.7% (RSD=12.4%). As some non-linear behaviour may occur when using fluorescence spectroscopy, the calibration model that relates the fluorescence spectra with the concentration is computed by a partial least squares regression and a multi-layer feed-forward neural network. In both cases, the proposed procedures have been validated according to Decision 2002/657/EC, concluding that the two are accurate although the calibration model built with the neural network has better figures of merit, the decision limit (CCα) for x(0)=100 μg L(-1) is 103.3 μg L(-1) and the detection capability (CCβ) is 106.5 μg L(-1), with the probabilities of false noncompliance (α) and false compliance (β) equal to 5%. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Rocío Morales, M Cruz Ortiz, Luis A Sarabia, M Sagrario Sánchez. D-optimal designs and N-way techniques to determine sulfathiazole in milk by molecular fluorescence spectroscopy. Analytica chimica acta. 2011 Nov 30;707(1-2):38-46

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PMID: 22027117

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