Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 395, Issue 5, pp 1243–1252

Formation, determination and significance of masked and other conjugated mycotoxins

  • Franz Berthiller
  • Rainer Schuhmacher
  • Gerhard Adam
  • Rudolf Krska
Review

DOI: 10.1007/s00216-009-2874-x

Cite this article as:
Berthiller, F., Schuhmacher, R., Adam, G. et al. Anal Bioanal Chem (2009) 395: 1243. doi:10.1007/s00216-009-2874-x

Abstract

Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites of fungi poisonous for humans or animals which can be found on a great variety of food and feed commodities. Food is not necessarily safe just because the presence of well-known mycotoxins has been ruled out, as they might still be there in disguise. Mycotoxins may also occur in conjugated form, either soluble (masked mycotoxins) or incorporated into/associated with/attached to macromolecules (bound mycotoxins). These conjugated mycotoxins can emerge after metabolization by living plants, fungi and mammals or after food processing. Awareness of such altered forms of mycotoxins is increasing, but reliable analytical methods, measurement standards and occurrence and toxicity data are still lacking. In this paper currently known conjugated mycotoxins, their formation and determination are reviewed. For the latter, liquid chromatography-(tandem) mass spectrometry or ELISA methods are employed with or without conversion to the parent mycotoxins. Sample preparation to transform the bound forms into soluble forms can involve enzymatic or acidic/alkaline treatment. Especially mycotoxins which are in contact with living plants in the field are prone to be metabolized. This transformation process is not only important regarding food safety but also for the resistance of plants towards fungal-induced diseases, such as Fusarium head blight of wheat.

Keywords

Conjugated mycotoxins Masked mycotoxins Bound mycotoxins Plant metabolism Food processing Mass spectrometry 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Franz Berthiller
    • 1
  • Rainer Schuhmacher
    • 1
  • Gerhard Adam
    • 2
  • Rudolf Krska
    • 1
  1. 1.Department for Agrobiotechnology (IFA-Tulln), Christian Doppler Laboratory for Mycotoxin Research, Center for Analytical ChemistryUniversity of Natural Resources and Applied Life SciencesVienna (BOKU)Austria
  2. 2.Department of Applied Genetics and Cell BiologyUniversity of Natural Resources and Applied Life SciencesVienna (BOKU)Austria