µSPE clean-up of QuEChERS extracts


The QuEChERS (quick, easy, cheap, effective, rugged, and safe) extraction is commonly used for the analysis of pesticides and other contaminants in a variety of matrices. It usually involves extraction with acetonitrile in the presence of a mixture of salts followed by centrifugation. An aliquot of the supernatant is then cleaned-up by a manual dispersive-solid-phase extraction (d-SPE) in an attempt to remove unwanted matrix compounds.

The μSPE clean-up uses a cartridge (depicted on the right) replacing dSPE. It empowers reliable, high-throughput sample processing with minimized labor input and instrument maintenance. The μSPE clean-up of QuEChERS extracts is undertaken in a scavenging mode, where unwanted matrix is retained by the µSPE sorbent, and  contaminants are recovered in a sharp elution profile.

Watch a video explaining the workflow of the µSPE QuEChERS extract clean-up


  • achieves high quality results for a wide range of analytes and foods (apple, kiwi, carrot, kale, orange, black olive, pork loin, salmon, and avocado; Lehotay et al., 2016)
  • enables reliable, high sample throughput 24/7, the μSPE step takes 8 min per sample
  • requires no sample concentration by evaporation
  • minimizes manual labor input and instrument maintenance
  • provides better cleanup than dispersive-SPE (d-SPE)
  • increases instrument up-time significantly because of cleaner extracts


Complete solutions

Together with our partners complete solutions integrating sample prep, data acquisition and analysis have been realized:

Thermo Fisher Scientific offers the µSPE Clean-up Tool for TriPlus™ RSH Autosampler

Agilent China offers a µSPE solution for the Agilent PAL RTC





The results of the publications below have been realized with µSPE cartridges from ITSP® Solutions, Inc. 


Automated Mini-Column Solid-Phase Extraction Cleanup for High-Throughput Analysis of Chemical Contaminants in Foods by Low-Pressure Gas Chromatography—Tandem Mass Spectrometry

Keywords: High-throughput automation, solid-phase extraction, cleanup, pesticide residue analysis, QuEChERS sample preparation, fast GC-MS/MS, analyte protectants, environmental contaminants, foods

Chromatographia (2016) DOI:10.1007/s10337-016-3116-y Read the open access article


Development of an Automated Column Solid-Phase Extraction Cleanup of QuEChERS Extracts, Using a Zirconia-Based Sorbent, for Pesticide Residue Analyses by LC-MS/MS

Keywords: QuEChERS, micro SPE, LC-MS/MS, ITSP, µSPE, Z-Sep, zirconia, pesticide, multiresidue, avocado, citrus

J Agric Food Chem, 2015, 63(21) 5107-19


Fast and Easy Multiresidue Method Employing Acetonitrile Extraction/Partitioning and “Dispersive Solid-Phase Extraction” for the Determination of Pesticide Residues in Produce

J. AOAC Int., 2003, 86, 412 -431


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