Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Chemistry



First Advisor

Mindy Levine


Human exposure to toxicants such as environmental pollutants, carcinogens, and endocrine disruptors occurs via a variety of mechanisms, including through the use of commercial products that contain these toxicants. Among such commercial products, many classes of food products have been found to contain toxicants, including phthalate and phthalate esters, which have traditionally been detected using mass spectrometry-based techniques. Reported herein is the use of gas chromatography mass spectrometry and cyclodextrin-promoted fluorescence detection to accomplish the sensitive (0.124µM limits of detection) detection of 15 phthalate esters in commercial cheese powder used in macaroni and cheese products. These results highlight the versatility of the cyclodextrin platform to operate in highly complex sample matrices, as well as the potential to use such platforms for the development of practical sensing devices for toxicants in commercial products.



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