Apr 11 2014
Optimization and validation of a multi-mycotoxin method by LC-MS/MS is presented. The method covers the EU-regulated mycotoxins (aflatoxins, fumonisins, ochratoxin A, deoxynivalenol, zearalenone, T-2 and HT-2), as well as nivalenol and 3- and 15-acetyldeoxynivalenol for analysis of cereals, cocoa, oil, spices, infant formula, coffee and nuts. The proposed procedure combines two clean-up strategies: First, a generic preparation suitable for all mycotoxins based on the QuEChERS (for quick, easy, cheap, effective, rugged and safe) protocol. Second, a specific clean-up devoted to aflatoxins and ochratoxin A using immunoaffinity column (IAC) clean-up. Positive identification of mycotoxins in matrix was conducted according to the confirmation criteria defined in EU Commission Decision 2002/657/EC while quantification was performed by isotopic dilution using (13)C-labeled mycotoxins as internal standards. Limits of quantification were at or below the maximum levels set in the EC/1886/2006 document for all mycotoxin/matrix combinations under regulation. In particular, the inclusion of an IAC step allowed achieving LOQs as low as 0.05 and 0.25μg/kg in cereals for aflatoxins and ochratoxin A, respectively. Other performance parameters like linearity [(r)(2)>0.99], recovery [71-118%], precision [(RSDr and RSDiR)<33%], and trueness [78-117%] were all compliant with the analytical requirements stipulated in the CEN/TR/16059 document. Method ruggedness was proved by a verification process conducted by another laboratory.