An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used for the determination of fenoxycarb in apple leaf samples. Single step extraction procedures with phosphate–citrate buffered solution containing different amounts of methanol were tested showing that a solvent percentage of 20% (v/v) was the best condition, with recoveries between 85 and 100% in the working range of 25–500 mug/kg and a negligible matrix effect. The low detection limit reached, 1 mug/kg against 50 mug/kg for the recommended liquid chromatographic method, makes the ELISA more suitable for determinations of the fenoxycarb residues in apple leaf samples. The reliability of the ELISA was evaluated by assaying the insecticide in spiked and contaminated samples by three different approaches: direct determination, standard addition method with a calibration graph, and the dilution test. The corresponding coefficients of variation were, respectively, 11, 22 and 27%. The direct determination on the (1+1) diluted apple leaf extract was used to measure the insecticide residues in samples collected in the north-eastern Italian regions of Veneto and Trentino-Alto Adige
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