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Do You Want to Add Alternaria Toxins and Ergot Alkaloids in Your Multi-Mycotoxin Analysis? Part 1: Challenges for Chromatographic Analysis

31 Oct 2022

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Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites produced by several fungal species of the genus Aspergillus (aflatoxins and ochratoxins), Claviceps (ergot alkaloids), Fusarium (beauvericin, fumonisins, trichothecenes, and zearalenone), Penicillium (citrinin, patulin), and Alternaria (alternariol, tentoxin, and tenuazonic acid), among others. Alternaria toxins (ATs) and ergot alkaloids (EAs) are not currently regulated in the United States, while the European Union has established the regulated levels for EAs and is in the process of discussing maximum permitted levels for ATs. While EAs contamination commonly occurs in cereal crops and wild grasses, ATs contamination is mostly prevalent in fruits and vegetables in addition to cereals. Their co-occurrence in grain-based foods highlights the importance of developing an analytical method for the simultaneous analysis of ATs and EAs in such food and feed matrices. Due to their distinct chemical properties, it has been a great challenge to develop a comprehensive method for the simultaneous analysis of multi-class mycotoxins to include emerging ATs and EAs. From the perspective of LC chromatography, specific analytical methods using high pH conditions are usually needed for the analysis of ATs and EAs to either gain acceptable peak shapes or enable the chromatographic separation of epimers. These practices, however, have hindered the simultaneous analysis of these two groups of compounds with other major regulated mycotoxins.

Even there is still a lack of clear assessments of human toxicity for ATs and EAs, their ubiquitous contamination in food products is often overlooked. The good news is that with careful and thorough examination of different types of bonding chemistries, we have developed a fast and LC-MS friendly method using the Raptor Biphenyl column for accurate and robust measurement of a total of 37 mycotoxins including ATs and EAs in various food commodities.    

If your labs are currently performing multi-mycotoxin analysis and are interesting in adding ATs or EAs to your workflow, please readthe literature below to find out the full solution.

Featured Application: Multi-Mycotoxin Method for Alternaria Toxins, Ergot Alkaloid Epimers, and Other Major Mycotoxins in food

Application Note: Comprehensive Mycotoxin Analysis: Simultaneous Determination of Alternaria Toxins, Ergot Alkaloid Epimers, and Other Major Mycotoxins in Various Food Matrices by LC-MS/MS

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Shun-Hsin Liang

Shun-Hsin is a senior LC applications scientist at Restek. He received his bachelor’s degree from the National Taiwan University in 1988 and obtained his PhD from Michigan State University in 1996. He performed postdoctoral research at the University of Michigan from 1996 to 2000 for oncology studies. In 2001, he was appointed as research faculty at The Pennsylvania State University and focused on molecular toxicology research. In 2006, he joined MPI Research Inc. as a senior research scientist and was a study director for GLP analytical projects. In 2013, Dr. Liang joined the LC Solutions department at Restek and specialized in developing application methods across the fields of environmental, food safety, and life sciences.