Has anyone ever said to you, “There’s nothing wrong with a bit of mold”?
No one likes to waste food, and it’s not unusual for people to scrape or pick mold off of foods before eating! Believe it or not, there’s guidance on foods that are (and are not) safe to eat if they’ve grown mold. We’ll leave you to do your own homework on this one, but there are some mold-based food contaminants that absolutely must be avoided.
The average consumer in developed countries will be blissfully unaware of a toxin that’s attacking our food supply. In fact, the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) estimated that 25% of the world’s crops are affected by this toxin each year, with the contamination cost to the U.S. economy estimated to be between $2 and $3 billion per year. A more recent study paints a bleaker picture, where at least one of these toxins was found to be above threshold levels in 6 out of 10 samples.
We’re talking about a class of secondary fungal metabolites called mycotoxins. They contaminate a variety of food and agricultural commodities worldwide. There are many of them and scientists are continually discovering new ones. They are found in cereals grains, but also in nuts, oilseeds, fruits, vegetables, coffee, wine, beer, herbs, and spices. Mycotoxins can also contaminate agricultural feedstuffs, presenting a genuine risk to livestock animal production and animal-derived food.
Mycotoxins are dangerous and the slightest concentration makes crops unsafe for human or animal consumption.
The problem is invisible to the general public in developed countries due to regulations on mycotoxin identification and their permissible limits. Unfortunately, the issue is expected to get worse and we all face the burden in one way or another. This is particularly true for farmers and consumers because costs are indirectly passed on.
The most significant cost is related to destroying produce, returning shipments and sourcing replacements. It’s expensive and frustrating, not to mention the loss of reputation and the risk of being removed from the supply chain. There’s also the process of sampling and analysis that’s necessary to meet regulatory requirements. This needs to be fast and accurate to avoid contaminated produce entering the food supply and causing irreparable damage.
The SCIEX Solution for Rapid, Simultaneous Mycotoxin Analysis
Food and environmental regulations require mycotoxin identification using confirmatory techniques. LC-MS/MS has become the popular choice for labs seeking a fast, robust and reliable analytical method to detect very low concentrations of mycotoxins in a variety of sample matrices.
Traditionally, different classes of mycotoxins required different sample preparation techniques. This is not the case with the SCIEX Triple Quad™ 3500 System with Multiple Reaction Monitoring (MRM). The solution offers MS detection of 26 common mycotoxin residues in a single workflow. Simultaneous analysis with polarity switching offers the best coverage of relevant analytes with Limits of Quantitation (LOQ) between 0.5μg/kg and 20μg/kg.
Complete the form on the right and start accelerating your routine mycotoxin analysis with the Simultaneous Analysis of 26 Mycotoxins in Grain on a SCIEX Triple Quad 3500 System application note in the SCIEX Triple Quad 3500 LC-MS/MS Compendium Volume 1.