Mycotoxins are toxic secondary metabolites produced by certain fungal species such as Aspergillus and Fusarium and can appear in a great variety of foods resulting from mould contamination in the field or during storage.
Due to the complexity of food matrices and structural diversity of mycotoxins their simultaneous and sensitive analysis is challenging.
Extraction methods based on QuEChERS (quick, easy, cheap, effective, rugged, and safe) have
become more popular in the research field of mycotoxins due to its simplicity and effectiveness
for isolating mycotoxins from complex matrices.
This report describes the work performed by the Government Chemist team to investigate various appropriate extraction and clean-up approaches applied to cereal matrices (maize flour, wheat flour, pasta, bread, breakfast cereals and beer), black peppercorn and groundnuts (peanuts).
The report concludes with a general strategy which includes workflows based on QuEChERS for the screening of mycotoxins. The proposed strategy represents an alternative to existing lengthy clean-up methods for specific mycotoxins.
For more information on the research work performed by the Government Chemist contact: