Mycotoxin testing awareness has increased as countries involved in world trade of raw agriculture and processed consumer products rely on a safe global food supply
Mycotoxin testing awareness has increased as countries involved in world trade of raw agriculture and processed consumer products rely on a safe global food supply. Several mycotoxins are naturally produced and monitored; however, aflatoxins, produced mainly by the Aspergillus species, are considered to be the most important mycotoxin group in the world's food supply to monitor. The frequency of occurrence and negative health impacts to both animals and humans has spiked interest in the aflatoxins B1, B2, G1, and G2 levels present within foods commonly exported to determine if these levels meet the current acceptable regulatory limits specified by each country.
Preparation of samples for aflatoxins B1, B2, G1, and G2 testing generally requires liquid-liquid extraction (LLE) as a sample preparation step and solid phase extraction (SPE) as a sample cleanup step to first remove as much as possible, any sample matrix effects, such as color, protein, fat, etc. Proper cleanup of samples allows aflatoxins B1, B2, G1, and G2 to be easily detected and quantified by HPLC analysis. An alternative methodology to the more common immunoaffinity cartridge for sample cleanup, is to bind the interfering compounds and immediately elute the aflatoxins from a non-gel, standard solid phase extraction (SPE) cartridge. The effectiveness of the Supel™ Tox AflaZea SPE Cartridges in combination with the SmartPrep Extractor System from Horizon Technology efficiently prepared a variety of foodstuffs samples representing a quadrant of moisture and viscosity levels prior to analysis using HPLC with fluorescence detection. Sample matrices chosen to represent the quandrant were almond milk, fresh corn, peanut paste, and curry powder. Data presented concludes that aflatoxins B1, B2, G1, and G2 are effectively recovered using the novel and simple sample matrix preparation roadmap to meet both United States and European Union limits. Table I includes the results for spikes of aflatoxin B1 and a mixed spike to assess performance using the US and EU criteria.
Table I: Calculated recoveries and %RSD for US and EU performance criteria of aflatoxins in sample matrices
Almond milk and curry powder were spiked at (8 µg/kg B1, 20 µg/kg total US; 4 µg/kg B1, 10 µg/kg EU).
Fresh corn and peanut paste were spiked at (8 µg/kg B1, 20 µg/kg total US; 1.6 µg/kg B1, 4 µg/kg EU).
(1) "A Unique and Simple Matrix Preparation Roadmap for Aflatoxin B1, B2, G1, G2 Food Safety Testing Prior to Automated SmartPrep® Extractor Solid Phase Extraction," Application Note AN0981410_01, www.horizontechinc.com, (2014).
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