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APPLICATION OF THE QUECHERS METHOD FOR PESTICIDE EXTRACTION FROM FRUITS AS A FINAL DEGREE PROJECT

J. González-Sálamo1, D.A. Varela-Martínez2, M.Á. González-Curbelo2, J. Hernández-Borges1

1Universidad de La Laguna (SPAIN)
2Universidad EAN (COLOMBIA)
In Spanish universities, each undergraduate degree has a Final Degree Project (FDP) which is an autonomous work of the student carried out during the second semester of the last course. It may consist on a bibliography research, an empirical approach or, in the case of experimental degrees, an experimental work. The whole project should demonstrate the competences developed during the degree. Such work should be carefully written and presented and publicly defended, following the specific guidelines of each faculty.

In the Degree of Chemistry of the University of La Laguna, the FDP is a subject of 15 ECTS credits. During the established period of each FDP, the supervisor/s should explain the students the characteristics of the project, they should also guide them to ensure its compliance with the objectives established and advise them on how to write the work and to defend it publicly. Finally, the supervisor/s evaluate part of it. Therefore, it is essential to establish a topic of interest and certain activities from which the student can properly and successfully develop such important subject.

Considering the above-mentioned, in this work, we proposed an interesting and effective FDP that can be developed in the Degrees of Chemistry. Such FDP is based on the application of the QuEChERS (Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effective, Rugged and Safe) method for the analysis of pesticide residues in banana samples, using gas chromatography in combination with a flame ionization detection for the determination of the target analytes.

The QuEChERS method constitutes a routine sample treatment method used in many official laboratories around the world for the analysis of pesticides in varied matrices as a consequence of the enormous advantages derived from its use. Besides, this method has also demonstrated to be very effective for the analysis of other families of compounds in a wide variety of complex samples. Bearing this in mind, this type of FDPs are of special interest, since they introduce the students to the development and application of advanced sample treatment methodologies, validation protocols as well as in the management of high-level instrumentation, which will undoubtedly be of great use for their professional future, either in the academic field or in the industry.