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Comprehensive analysis of multi-class mycotoxins in twenty different species of functional and medicinal herbs using liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry

Cho, Hyun-Deok, Suh, Joon Hyuk, Feng, Shi, Eom, Taeyong, Kim, Junghyun, Hyun, Seung Muk, Kim, Junhee, Wang, Yu, Han, Sang Beom
Food control 2019 v.96 pp. 517-526
T-2 toxin, aflatoxin B1, deoxynivalenol, fumonisin B1, herbs, liquid chromatography, medicinal plants, monitoring, ochratoxin A, tandem mass spectrometry, uncertainty, zearalenone
Analysis of mycotoxins in functional and medicinal herbs is a challenge because herbs have complicated and diverse matrices from different parts of plants as well as different species. Here, we introduce a rapid and comprehensive liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry method for the determination of multi-class mycotoxins (aflatoxin B1, B2, G1, G2, ochratoxin A, zearalenone, deoxynivalenol, fumonisin B1, B2, B3 and T-2 toxin) in twenty different species of herbs that are used for both food and medicinal purposes. Various sample preparation methods were compared and optimized to obtain satisfactory extraction of mycotoxins in different matrices. The extraction efficiency was found to vary from not only extraction methods but also matrix types, demonstrating the complexity of herbal matrix. On the basis of optimization results, immunoaffinity column was selected as an extraction method to cover all types of samples. QuEChERS was also employed as a supplementary method to support the immunoaffinity column method. The developed method was validated by assessing specificity, linearity, precision, recovery, limit of quantification and uncertainty, and applied in a hundred of real samples to monitor target mycotoxins. The monitoring results were further verified using accurate high resolution mass measurements by Orbitrap mass spectrometry. As far as we know, this is the first time the multi-class mycotoxins were determined in a broad range of functional and medicinal herb matrices, with high selectivity and sensitivity. In addition, the proposed method was proven to be more efficient and sensitive than other methods.