Mycotoxin Research

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 109–115 | Cite as

A new approach using micro HPLC-MS/MS for multi-mycotoxin analysis in maize samples

  • Sebastian Hickert
  • Johannes Gerding
  • Edson Ncube
  • Florian Hübner
  • Bradley Flett
  • Benedikt Cramer
  • Hans-Ulrich Humpf
Original Paper


Using micro high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS) a simple and fast method for the quantitative determination of 26 mycotoxins was developed. Sample preparation consists of a single extraction step and a dilute-and-shoot approach without further cleanup. With a total run time of 9 min and solvent consumption below 0.3 mL per chromatographic run, the presented method is cost-effective. All toxins regulated by the European Commission with maximum or guidance levels in grain products (fumonisins B1 and B2 (FB1 and FB2)); deoxynivalenol (DON); aflatoxins B1, G1, B2, and G2 (AFB1, AFG1, AFB2, and AFG2); ochratoxin A (OTA); T-2 and HT-2 toxins; and zearalenone (ZEN) can be quantified with this method. Furthermore, the enniatins B, B1, A, and A1 (EnB, EnB1, EnA, and EnA1); beauvericin (BEA); 3-acetyl-deoxynivalenol (3-AcDON); fusarin C (FusC); sterigmatocystin (STC); gliotoxin (GT); and the Alternaria toxins alternariol (AOH), alternariol monomethyl ether (AME), altenuene (ALT), tentoxin (TEN), and altertoxin I (ATX I) can also be quantified. For all regulated compounds, recoveries ranged between 76 and 120 %. For all other toxins, the recovery was at least 51 %. The method was applied for the analysis of 42 maize samples from field trials in South Africa.


Micro LC Mass spectrometry Capillary chromatography Aflatoxin Multi-method 



We thank AB SCIEX (Darmstadt) for supplying us with a QTRAP 5500 mass spectrometer.

Source of funding

We thank the NRW Graduate School of Chemistry for the financial support. Part of this work is based on the research supported by the National Research Foundation of South Africa, Grant Number 84162.

Conflict of interest


Supplementary material

12550_2015_221_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (2.2 mb)
ESM 1 (PDF 2211 kb)


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Copyright information

© Society for Mycotoxin Research and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sebastian Hickert
    • 1
    • 2
  • Johannes Gerding
    • 1
    • 2
  • Edson Ncube
    • 3
  • Florian Hübner
    • 1
  • Bradley Flett
    • 3
    • 4
  • Benedikt Cramer
    • 1
  • Hans-Ulrich Humpf
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Food ChemistryUniversity of MünsterMünsterGermany
  2. 2.NRW Graduate School of ChemistryMünsterGermany
  3. 3.ARC-Grain Crops InstitutePotchefstroomSouth Africa
  4. 4.Unit of Environmental Sciences and ManagementNorth-West UniversityPotchefstroomSouth Africa

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