Determination of zearalenone and ochratoxin A in soil

Mortensen, Gerda Krog; Strobel, Bjarne W.; Hansen, Hans Christian B.
May 2003
Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry;May2003, Vol. 376 Issue 1, p98
Academic Journal
Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites, formed by the action of fungi on agricultural crops in the field or during storage. These metabolites are highly toxic to animals and humans and high levels have been measured in agricultural crops. In order to evaluate human risks due to ingestion of mycotoxin-contaminated food different methods have been developed for analysis of mycotoxins in cereals and maize. In this project the focus was on mycotoxins in agricultural soil and the fate of these toxins in the soil–water-plant system. Two different mycotoxins were selected in the study: zearalenone (ZON) produced by species of Fusarium or Aspergillus and ochratoxin A (OTA) produced by species of Penicillium. We developed a method for analysis of these toxins in soil. Soil samples were extracted with methanol–water (9:1) and purified by solid-phase extraction (SPE, C8-columns). The final extract was analysed using high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) with fluorescence detection. A Phenyl Hexyl column was used to separate the toxins. The detection limits obtained were 0.1 and 1.0 μg kg-1 dry weight (dw) for OTA and ZON, respectively. The developed method has been used for analysis of different soils in connection with growth chamber experiments. The soil types used in the growth chamber experiments were a sandy soil, a sandy clay soil, and a soil with high content of organic matter. The recovery was determined as 85.8 and 93.4% and the repeatability to 5.1 and 12.8% for OTA and ZON, respectively. The reproducibility obtained was 8.5 and 15.0% for soil samples, representing concentration levels from 0.2–30 μg kg-1 dw (OTA) and from 1.0–100 μg kg-1 dw (ZON).


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