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Multi-mycotoxin analysis: Simultaneous sample purification for 11 mycotoxins

Food producers have to comply with specific limit values for mycotoxins. For regular analysis of different mycotoxin concentrations in cereals, multi-toxin analyses are an effective alternative. Such methods allow for the analysis of multiple mycotoxins in one run. For laboratories that use LC-MS/MS for mycotoxin analysis, we have developed new solid phase extraction columns for the simultaneous sample purification of 11 different mycotoxins.

Whether maize, wheat, barley, nuts or dried fruits: mycotoxins may be present in many foods. Depending on the weather, several types of fungal toxins might also appear simultaneously. It is not unusual to find different trichothecenes in one product, sometimes even in combination with zearalenone. Other commodities might contain ochratoxin or fumonisin together with aflatoxin. Testing food for a single mycotoxin is therefore usually not sufficient.

However, performing multiple analyses efficiently and at little expense is a challenge. Thus, comfortable multi-mycotoxin analyses are of increasing interest. Usually, such analyses are performed by means of LC-MS/MS methods. The necessary sample purification of multiple analytes can be performed in one run using special multi-mycotoxin clean-up columns.

Multi-mycotoxin clean-up: Here’s how it works

Sample purification is essential in LC-MS/MS analysis in order to receive good results. Clean-up reduces background interference and improves the accuracy of the results. The sample preparation process varies depending on matrix and analyte. However, some methods allow simultaneous sample purification for multiple analytes – such as the new PuriTox Total Myco-MS columns. These are solid phase extraction (SPE) columns, allowing simultaneous preparation of cereal samples for 11 different mycotoxins:

  • Aflatoxin B1
  • Aflatoxin B2
  • Aflatoxin G1
  • Aflatoxin G2

  • Ochratoxin
  • Fumonisin B1
  • Fumonisin B2
  • Deoxynivalenol

  • Zearalenone
  • T-2
  • HT-2

Unlike immunoaffinity columns (IAC), SPE columns contain selected solid absorbents which bind to interfering components and pigments. These are subsequently removed and the resulting eluate can be used for LC-MS/MS analysis. The whole sample purification process takes only 20 minutes.