5.5 Minute LC-MS/MS Analysis of Mycotoxins in Peanut Powder

by Feb 28, 2019Analytical

Featured Application: Mycotoxins in Peanut Powder on Raptor Biphenyl

Certain fungi that can grow on agricultural products produce toxic metabolites known as mycotoxins. Modern food processing procedures cannot completely remove these compounds if they are present, so strict monitoring protocols have been established. Although a universal method for the analysis of mycotoxins would allow highly efficient screening, it is very challenging to develop such a method due to differences in physiochemical properties of mycotoxins, extraction efficiencies, and matrix effects. Zhang et al. published a multi-lab study [1] aimed at providing labs with an analytical procedure that could be broadly applied to the analysis of a variety of mycotoxins in many different matrices. Using that work as inspiration, we developed the following LC-MS/MS method that resolves 12 FDA regulated mycotoxins within the pressure limits of traditional HPLC instruments.

  • Fast analysis for higher sample throughput.
  • Excellent separation improves accuracy for 12 regulated mycotoxins.
  • Quick and easy sample preparation (dilute-filter-shoot).


In this example, mycotoxins were analyzed in a peanut powder matrix. The use of a relatively short column format, the selectivity of the Biphenyl stationary phase, and the efficiency of 2.7 µm Raptor superficially porous particles provided excellent separations in a fast 5.5 minute analysis (total cycle time of 7 minutes). A coeluting matrix compound that shared the most abundant MRM transition for mycotoxin HT-2 (447.3-285.3) was observed, so a less abundant transition (447.3-345.3) was selected for quantitation. To increase sensitivity, an ammonium buffer was used to promote better ionization of mycotoxins.

This method showed excellent precision and accuracy for the 12 FDA regulated mycotoxins that were evaluated during a validation study that covered a variety of matrices (linked below). Restek would like to thank Dr. Zhang for his technical support during this project.

Additional food matrices:

Unbleached wheat flour: https://www.restek.com/chromatogram/view/LC_FS0524

Yellow corn meal: https://www.restek.com/chromatogram/view/LC_FS0525

Brown rice flour: https://www.restek.com/chromatogram/view/LC_FS0527

Have a larger analyte panel?

The Raptor Biphenyl column worked very well for the 12 mycotoxins studied in the cited work, but for longer compound lists containing isobaric mycotoxins with similar structures, the Raptor FluoroPhenyl phase may be necessary to provide adequate chromatographic resolution. The selectivity of the Raptor FluoroPhenyl column is demonstrated in this analysis of 20 mycotoxins.

Restek is a leading developer and manufacturer of chromatography columns and accessories. Restek provides analysts around the world with the innovative tools they need to monitor the quality of air, water, soil, foods, pharmaceuticals, chemical, and petroleum products.

“Our reputation for Plus 1 customer service and quality, innovative products is world-renowned. Plus 1 customer service means every Restek employee will work hard to exceed your expectations in helpfulness and courtesy.”

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