Aflatoxins are metabolites from molds such as Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus Parasiticus. Aflatoxins are classified as mycotoxins, they are among the most potent human carcinogens, found mainly in foods and feed of plant origin. High concentrations of aflatoxins have been found, for example, in pistachios, figs and cereals and aflatoxins have also been found in dairy products. Due to the high toxicity of aflatoxins, EU legislation specifies very low acceptable daily intakes and maximum residue limits (0.05-15 μg/kg).
Of 17 known Aflatoxins, four are mainly relevant: Aflatoxin B1, Aflatoxin B2, Aflatoxin G1 & Aflatoxin G2 (Figure 1). This application note describes the configuration and operation of an LC/MS system combined with automated solid phase extraction and analyte derivatization for determination of the four aflatoxins listed above. Using the combined system, lower detection limits and improved chromatographic separation were achieved.