Mycotoxins are naturally occurring secondary metabolites produced by fungi. A variety of mycotoxins can contaminate a wide range of fruits, cereals and grains. Chemically stable and resistant to different forms of decomposition, many of these compounds are known to have carcinogenic, estrogenic, and immunotoxic effects in vivo. Therefore, extensive global regulations are enforced laying down sampling and testing methods, along with permitted limits for specific mycotoxins. Due to the variety of complex food commodities naturally contaminated by fungal species multi-mycotoxin analysis can prove both challenging and time consuming. Therefore, the availability of rapid and sensitive screening tools that are capable of achieving the regulatory levels for the relevant mycotoxins and commodities is essential. The development of methods for the determination of multiple mycotoxins is highly desirable, where LC-MS plays an important role in this field. However due to the differences in chemical and physical properties of the major mycotoxins, sample preparation can become the most challenging task.
Given the frequency of naturally contaminated food and feeds by various mycotoxins, the need exists for the simple and sensitive detection of regulated mycotoxins. In this application note, a simple, sensitive, and cost-effective method has been developed for the quantitative analysis of 12 regulated mycotoxins in processed maize extract. Using a single sample preparation procedure, all analytes were extracted and readily detected on the ACQUITY QDa Detector. No additional or time-consuming sample preparation was required, thus allowing for the rapid screening of multiple mycotoxins on a single detector.