Visualizing the Distribution of Phthalate Esters and Plant Metabolites in Carrot by Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Imaging Mass Spectrometry

Leilei Xiang, Fang Wang*, Yongrong Bian, Jean Damascene Harindintwali, Ziquan Wang, Yu Wang, Jing Dong, Hong Chen, Andreas Schaeffer, Xin Jiang, Zongwei Cai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The accumulation of organic pollutants in vegetables is a major global food safety issue. The concentrations of pollutants in vegetables usually differ across different tissues because of different transport and accumulation pathways. However, owing to the limitations of conventional methods, in situ localization of typical organic pollutants such as phthalate esters (PAEs) in plant tissues has not yet been studied. Here, we developed a quick and efficient method for in situ detection and imaging of the spatial distribution of PAEs in a typical root vegetable, carrot, using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization imaging mass spectrometry (MALDI-IMS). The use of a 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid matrix with a spray-sublimation coating method led to the successful identification of PAEs ion signals. The IMS results showed that a typical PAE-di-(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) was broadly distributed in the cortex, phloem, and metaxylem, but was barely detectable in the cambium and protoxylem. Interestingly, MALDI-IMS data also revealed for the first time the spatial distribution of sugars and β-carotene in carrots. In summary, the developed method offers a new and practical methodology for the in situ analysis of PAEs and plant metabolites in plant tissues. As a result, it could provide a more intuitive understanding of the movement and transformation of organic pollutants in soil-plant systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15311-15320
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Volume70
Issue number48
Early online date28 Nov 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • environmental pollutants
  • MALDI-IMS
  • PAEs
  • spatial distribution
  • vegetable

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