Skip to main content
ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Mycotoxin Prevention and Applied Microbiology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #371699

Research Project: Improved Analytical Technologies for Detection of Foodborne Toxins and Their Metabolites

Location: Mycotoxin Prevention and Applied Microbiology Research

Title: Analytical challenges associated with detection of emerging, masked, and modified mycotoxins

item Maragos, Chris

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/9/2020
Publication Date: 3/12/2020
Citation: Maragos, C.M. 2020. Analytical challenges associated with detection of emerging, masked, and modified mycotoxins. [abstract].

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: All mycotoxins were, at one time, “emerging” toxins. Those toxins that were identified many years ago, such as the aflatoxins, deoxynivalenol, ochratoxin A, zearalenone, and the fumonisins, have each been associated with diseases in humans or domestic animals. Over time the tools of both analytical chemistry and toxicology have improved significantly, culminating in modern tools that permit the better discernment and quantification of the additive and synergistic effects resulting from exposures to multiple toxins and environmental influences. This has enabled the shift from using a reactive approach to a proactive approach for limiting mycotoxin exposures. This shift has also led to many challenges for analtyical chemists. Some of the challenges are technical in nature and would be recognizable to the analytical chemists of the past: finding the best way to extract toxins of very different polarities, reducing matrix effects, achieving adequate sensitivity, and performing validations. Investigations into how the well known mycotoxins interact with plants and animals has led to the discovery of modified, masked, and matrix-associated forms. Identifying all of the myriad forms is a significant challenge. In addition to direct technical challenges there are also challenges that are non-technical in nature. Foremost among these is establishing which of the many potentially hazardous materials need to be monitored, which in turn is based upon toxicological relevance and the presence or absence of regulatory guidelines. Establishing relevance depends upon the availability of accurate measurement tools. That is, the development of analytical tools must be undertaken before the extent of a potential hazard can be fully characterized.