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New voltammetry-based technique for the determination of Tebuthiuron in crystal and brown sugar samples

Sugar is widely consumed worldwide and Brazil is the largest producer, consumer, and exporter of this product. To guarantee proper development and productivity of sugar cane crops, it is necessary to apply large quantities of agrochemicals, especially herbicides and pesticides. The herbicide tebuthiuron (TBH) prevents pre- and post-emergence of infesting weed in sugarcane cultures. Considering that it is important to ensure food safety for the population, this paper proposes a reliable method to analyse TBH in sugar matrixes (brown and crystal) using square wave voltammetry (SWV) and differential pulse voltammetry (DPV) at bare glassy carbon electrode and investigate the electrochemical behavior of this herbicide by cyclic voltammetry (CV). Our results suggest that TBH or the product of its reaction with a supporting electrolyte is oxidized through irreversible transfer of one electron between the analyte and the working electrode, at a potential close to +1.16 V vs. Ag |AgClsat in 0.10 mol L-1 KOH as supporting electrolyte solution. Both DPV and SWV are satisfactory for the quantitative analysis of the analyte. DPV is more sensitive and selective, with detection limits of 0.902, 0.815 and 0.578 mg kg-1, and quantification limits of 0.009, 0.010 and 0.008 mg kg-1 in the absence of the matrix and in the presence of crystal and brown sugar matrix, respectively. Repeatability lay between 0.53 and 13.8%, precision ranged between 4.14 and 15.0%, and recovery remained between 84.2 and 113% in the case of DPV conducted in the absence of matrix and in the presence of the crystal sugar matrix, respectively

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