Mycotoxins are toxic metabolites produced by molds. They can have serious acute and chronic effects on the health of humans as well as animals. Mycotoxin analysis of food and feed is therefore necessary and often required by legislation. Modern test kits allow rapid qualitative and quantitative analysis of mycotoxins.
Throughout history, mycotoxins (as we know them now) have impaired the quality of agricultural products. Major commodities such as corn, wheat, rice, soy and peanuts can be contaminated with mycotoxins, depending on growth conditions and storage conditions. So can other commodities like rye, oats, hazelnuts, figs, grapes or spices be affected by mycotoxins. The consumption of mycotoxin contaminated products may have acute toxic health effects on humans and animals as well as chronic effects. Besides health costs also direct economic factors play a role like decreased efficiency in the growth of farm animals, trade losses because of import and export limitations and direct losses in revenue of crop value. To protect the health of consumers and animals worldwide, legislations for mycotoxins are in place.
Methods for mycotoxin analysis
The analysis of mycotoxins presents some unique challenges: Mould fungus toxins are naturally occurring contaminants. Production prior to harvest is affected by weather conditions, as well as agricultural practices; production after harvest depends upon storage conditions. This puts certain challenges on the risk management of mycotoxins: Where, when, how often and how many do I test?
Mycotoxins are spread very inhomogeneously throughout a product and maybe present at very low levels. Samples to be tested may be analytically simple matrices such as wheat, corn or maybe very complicated matrices like spices, coffee or complex mixtures of ingredients as in animal feed. It is very important to choose the right sampling and analytical method for the product to be tested. R-Biopharm offers a wide range of analytical methods for mycotoxin analysis. Depending on matrix, number of samples, time to result, ease of use and available equipment, we can offer you the appropriate testing format:
RIDASCREEN® RIDA®QUICK Cards Columns
The ELISA test format enables high-throughput testing of many commodities for most regulated mycotoxins. The lateral flow test enables rapid, on-site decisions about the mycotoxin contamination of commodities. Results can be evaluated visually (semi-quantitative) or quantitatively by means of a LFD reader. The screening cards AFLACARD® and OCHRACARD® are specially designed to get a rapid, semi-quantitative result for more complex commodities.
Immunoaffinity columns (e.g. RIDA®, EASI-EXTRACT®, PREP®) enable efficient mycotoxin clean-up for all kinds of commodities prior to HPLC, LC-MSMS or ELISA. PuriTox solid phase extraction columns enable mycotoxin clean-up prior to TLC, HPLC, GC or LC-MSMS.
Mycotoxin reference material
Mycotoxin testing imposes unique challenges to analytical laboratories. Complicated matrices, inhomogeneously spread contaminations, very low levels are just a few challenges to be met. The importance of choosing the right sample preparation and analytical method is obvious. The use of certified mycotoxin reference materials will strengthen your quality assurance in mycotoxin testing.
Read more about reference material
Mycotoxin standards solutions are used routinely in mycotoxin analysis. They can be used to prepare a calibration curve for the HPLC system, ensuring accurate determination of the toxin. The standard solution can also be used to spike samples in order to check the extraction efficiency of the toxin from certain foods using a particular solvent, or alternatively, to spike sample extracts.
Read more about standards
Mycotoxins generally co-occur in different commodities. It is not unusual to find different trichothecenes in one product, sometimes even in combination with zearalenone. Other commodities might contain both aflatoxin and ochratoxin or aflatoxin and fumonisin. Multi-mycotoxin methods are able to detect multiple mycotoxins simultaneously. We offer solutions for an effective multi-mycotoxin clean-up prior to analysis with HPLC or LC-MS/MS.
More information on specific mycotoxins
We offer test kits for all relevant mycotoxins from aflatoxin to zearalenone. Please choose a specific mycotoxin to find out more about it:
- DON (Vomitoxin)
- T-2 / HT-2 toxin