The detection and quantitation of Mycotoxins such as Aflatoxins, Vomitoxin (Deoxynivalenol (DON)), Ochratoxin, and Zearalenone by High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with immunoaffinty column detection is important for determining if food and feed stuffs comply with legislative requirements and are fit for livestock or human consumption.
Aflatoxins are a group of naturally occurring mycotoxins that are produced by some species of the fungus genus Aspergillus, especially Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus. Aflatoxin B1 & B2 are produced by A. flavus and parasiticus. (Aflatoxin B1 is considered to be the most toxic of the aflatoxins.) While Aflatoxin G1 & G2 are produced exclusively by A. parasiticus. Aflatoxins are highly toxic and are one of the most carcinogenic substances found.
Many food products have been contaminated with aflatoxins including cereals (maize, sorghum, pearl millet, rice, wheat), oilseeds (groundnut, soybean, sunflower, cotton), spices (chillies, black pepper, coriander, turmeric, ginger), dried fruits (figs, dates) and nuts (almonds, pistachio, walnuts, coconut).
Vomitoxin, also known as Deoxynivalenol (DON), is a mycotoxin predominantly found in grains such as wheat, barley, oats, rye, and maize, and sometimes in rice, sorghum, and triticale.
Vomitoxin is associated primarily with the presence of two species of the fungus genus Fusarium, F. graminearum (Gibberella zeae) and F. culmorum.
Ochratoxins are mycotoxins produced by some species of the fungus genera Aspergillus and Penicillium, such as A. ochraceus and P. viridicatum, with ochratoxin A as the most prevalent and relevant fungal toxin of this group.
Ochratoxin A, is one of the most commonly found food-contaminating mycotoxins in the world. It is a toxin produced by A. ochraceus and P. verrucosum.
Zearalenone (ZEA), also known as RAL and F-2 mycotoxin, is a toxin produced by some species of the fungus genera Giberella and Fusarium. Zearalenone is found to be present in a number of cereal crops, such as maize, barley, oats, wheat, rice, and sorghum.