Analysis of Multiple Mycotoxins in Food

Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites of microscopic filamentous fungi. With regard to the widespread distribution of fungi in the environment, mycotoxins are considered to be one of the most important natural contaminants in foods and feeds. To protect consumers’ health and reduce economic losses, surveillance and control of mycotoxins in food and feed has become a major objective for producers, regulatory authorities, and researchers worldwide. In this context, availability of reliable analytical methods applicable for this purpose is essential. Since the variety of chemical structures of mycotoxins makes impossible to use one single technique for their analysis, a vast number of analytical methods has been developed and validated. Both a large variability of food matrices and growing demands for a fast, cost-saving and accurate determination of multiple mycotoxins by a single method outline new challenges for analytical research. This strong effort is facilitated by technical developments in mass spectrometry allowing decreasing the influence of matrix effects in spite of omitting sample clean-up step. The current state-of-the-art together with future trends is presented in this chapter. Attention is focused mainly on instrumental method; advances in biosensors and other screening bionanalytical approaches enabling analysis of multiple mycotoxins are not discussed in detail.

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