Journal of agricultural and food chemistry

Aflatoxins and ochratoxin A in red paprika for retail sale in Spain: occurrence and evaluation of a simultaneous analytical method.

PMID 18205310


Aflatoxins are the only mycotoxins with legal limits for spices in the European Union. A further limit for ochratoxin A is expected to be adopted soon. Thus, rapid simultaneous methods for quantifying the five mycotoxins are sought. Liquid extraction, immunoaffinity column cleanup, and HPLC-FD with a wavelength program were optimized for the analysis of the five mycotoxins in paprika, a complex fatty matrix. The limits of detection ranged from 0.3 to 0.6 microg/kg. Repeatability (RSDr) ranged from 7.9 to 13.4%, and recoveries were between 61.4 and 77.8%, in both cases at the lower spike level. Aflatoxins, when found, were far below the two legal limits of 5 microg/kg for aflatoxin B 1 and 10 microg/kg for total aflatoxins. Ochratoxin A was more frequently found, with a mean of 11.8 microg/kg, and in a more varied range (SD = 18.9 microg/kg). When an automation of the precolumn derivatization step was attempted, the procedure proved to be unfeasible, but experience derived from this trial and from the general employment of this reaction enables some comments on the possibilities and limitations of this procedure and on research for an alternative one to be made.