Journal Highlight: Multiclass mycotoxin analysis in food, environmental and biological matrices with chromatography/mass spectrometry

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  • Published: Aug 13, 2012
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Multiclass mycotoxin analysis in food, environmental and biological matrices with chromatography/mass spectrometry

Mass Spectrometry Reviews, 2012, 31, 466-503
Anna Laura Capriotti, Giuseppe Caruso, Chiara Cavaliere, Patrizia Foglia, Roberto Samperi, Aldo Lagana

The state-of-the-art of mass spectrometry-based analytical methods for the multiclass, multianalyte determination of myctoxins in all matrices is reviewed. Abstract: Mold metabolites that can elicit deleterious effects on other organisms are classified as mycotoxins. Human exposure to mycotoxins occurs mostly through the intake of contaminated agricultural products or residues due to carry over or metabolite products in foods of animal origin such as milk and eggs, but can also occur by dermal contact and inhalation. Mycotoxins contained in moldy foods, but also in damp interiors, can cause diseases in humans and animals. Nephropathy, various types of cancer, alimentary toxic aleukia, hepatic diseases, various hemorrhagic syndromes, and immune and neurological disorders are the most common diseases that can be related to mycotoxicosis. The absence or presence of mold infestation and its propagation are seldom correlated with mycotoxin presence. Mycotoxins must be determined directly, and suitable analytical methods are necessary. Hundreds of mycotoxins have been recognized, but only for a few of them, and in a restricted number of utilities, a maximum acceptable level has been regulated by law. However, mycotoxins seldom develop alone; more often various types and/or classes form in the same substrate. The co-occurrence might render the individual mycotoxin tolerance dose irrelevant, and therefore the mere presence of multiple mycotoxins should be considered a risk factor. The advantage of chromatography/mass spectrometry (MS) is that many compounds can be determined and confirmed in one analysis. This review illustrates the state-of-the-art of mycotoxin MS-based analytical methods for multiclass, multianalyte determination in all the matrices in which they appear. A chapter is devoted to the history of the long-standing coexistence and interaction among humans, domestic animals and mycotoxicosis, and the history of the discovery of mycotoxins. Quality assurance, although this topic relates to analytical chemistry in general, has been also examined for mycotoxin analysis as a preliminary to the systematic literature excursus. Sample handling is a crucial step to devise a multiclass analytical method; so when possible, it has been treated separately for a better comparison before tackling the instrumental part of the whole analytical method. This structure has resulted sometimes in unavoidable redundancies, because it was also important to underline the interconnection. Most reviews do not deal with all the possible mycotoxin sources, including the environmental ones. The focus of this review is the analytical methods based on MS for multimycotoxin class determination. Because the final purpose to devise multimycotoxin analysis should be the assessment of the danger to health of exposition to multitoxicants of natural origin (and possibly also the interaction with anthropogenic contaminants), therefore also the analytical methods for environmental relevant mycotoxins have been thoroughly reviewed. Finally, because the best way to shed light on actual risk assessment could be the individuation of exposure biomarkers, the review covers also the scarce literature on biological fluids.

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