The most common mycotoxins are aflatoxins (AFs), which are produced by strains of various species of molds in the genus Aspergillus (A. flavus, A. parasiticus, A. nomius and A. tamarii) and can grow on many foods, mainly peanuts, maize and cottonseed. AFs are currently considered to be the most hazardous mycotoxins to health, in particular because of their hepatocellular carcinogenic potential. The main aflatoxins are B1 (AFB1), B2 (AFB2), G1 (AFG1) and G2 (AFG2) although many other derivatives have been described. In addition, animals consuming contaminated feeds are able to metabolize them by hydroxylation in a certain position, yield for example aflatoxin M1 (AFM1) and aflatoxin M2 (AFM2) from AFB1 and AFB2, respectively. Nowadays, only the four main AFs and one hydroxylated metabolite (AFM1) are routinely analyzed. High resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) using Orbitrap or time-of-flight (TOF) mass analysers is a trend for AFs determination, allowing to determine AFs and their derivatives for which there are no commercial standards available, in order to carry out metabolization studies, exposure assessment or monitoring modified AFs in food. The aim of this study is to show the recent trends in analytical methods based on LC-HRMS for determination of AFs.
Part of the book: Aflatoxins