Skip to main content
Log in

Simultaneous determination of aflatoxin B1, B2, G1, G2, ochratoxin A, and sterigmatocystin in traditional Chinese medicines by LC–MS–MS

  • Note
  • Published:
Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

In this paper we describe a rapid, simple, and cost-effective liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometric (LC–MS–MS) method for simultaneous analysis of aflatoxin B1, B2, G1, and G2, ochratoxin A, and sterigmatocystin in 25 traditional Chinese medicines (TCMs). The method is based on single extraction with 84:16 (v/v) acetonitrile–water then analysis of the diluted crude extract without further clean-up. Chromatographic separation was achieved on a C18 column, with a mobile phase gradient prepared from aqueous 4 mmol L−1 ammonium acetate–0.1 % formic acid and methanol. Quantification of the analytes was by selective reaction monitoring (SRM) on a triple-quadrupole mass spectrometer in positive-ionization mode. Special focus was on investigating and reducing matrix effects to improve accuracy. The established method was validated by determination of linearity (r > 0.995), sensitivity (limits of quantification 1.6–25.0 ng L−1), apparent recovery (84.8–110.6 %), extraction recovery (83.6–106.1 %), and precision (relative standard deviation ≤9.9 %) for two representative TCMs, Semen Armeniacae Amarae and Radix Pseudostellariae. The applicability of the method to TCMs other than these was further investigated, and 23 other TCMs with acceptable matrix effects (80.2–118.6 %) were screened. The validated method was finally used to assess mycotoxin contamination of 244 samples of 25 TCMs collected from local hospitals and TCM pharmacies. Aflatoxin B1 and ochratoxin A were detected in 5.3 % of the samples. Sterigmatocystin, the most prevalent mycotoxin contaminant, was present in 26.2 % of the samples tested; this has not been reported previously. The results of this work imply greater attention should be devoted to evaluation of the potential hazard caused by sterigmatocystin in TCMs.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  1. Smith JE, Solomons GL, Lewis CW, Anderson JG (1994) Mycotoxins in human nutrition and health. European commission DG X II, Science Research Development, EUR 16048EN

  2. Galvano F, Ritieni A, Piva G, Pietri A (2005) In: Diaz D (ed) The mycotoxins blue book. Nottingham University Press, Nottingham

    Google Scholar 

  3. Xue J, Liu DJ, Chen SL, Liao YH, Zou ZM (2008) World Sci Technol 10:91–96

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Sulyok M, Berthiller F, Krska R, Schuhmacher R (2006) Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom 20:2649–2659

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Sulyok M, Krska R, Schuhmacher R (2007) Anal Bioanal Chem 389:1505–1523

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Frenich AG, Martínez Vidal JL, Romero-González R, del Mar Aguilera-Luiz M (2009) Food Chem 117:705–712

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Ip SP, Che CT (2006) J Chromatogr A 1135:241–244

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Zheng R, Wang SM, Jian LH, Xu Y, Mao D, Wang K, Ji S (2011) Chin J Health Lab Technol 21:318–320

    Google Scholar 

  9. Yu J, Chang P, Ehrlich KC, Jeffrey WC, Bhatnagar D, Cleveland TE, Payne GA, Linz JE, Woloshuk CP, Bennett JW (2004) Appl Environ Microbiol 70:1253–1262

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. EC (2002) Commission decision 2002/657/EC. EC, Brussels

    Google Scholar 

  11. Han Z, Zheng Y, Luan L, Cai Z, Ren Y, Wu Y (2010) Anal Chim Acta 664:165–171

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Spanjer MC, Scholten JM, Rensen PM (2003) In: Book of abstracts, The Second World Mycotoxin Forum. Noordwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands. p 95

  13. Spanjer MC, Rensen PM, Scholten JM (2008) Food Addit Contam Part A Chem Anal Control Expo Risk Assess 25:472–489

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. Matuszewski BK, Constanzer ML, Chavez-Eng CM (2003) Anal Chem 75:3019–3030

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. Ferrer C, Martínez-Bueno MJ, Lozano A, Fernández-Alba AR (2011) Talanta 83:1552–1561

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) (1993) IARC Monographs on the evaluation of carcinogenic risks to humans, Vol 56:498–521. IARC Press, Lyon, France

  17. Hang Z, Zheng YL, Luan LJ, Ren YP, Wu YJ (2010) J Chromatogr A 1217:4365–4374

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  18. Versilovskis A, De Saeger S (2010) Mol Nutr Food Res 54:136–147

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  19. International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) (1987) IARC Monographs on the evaluation of carcinogenic risks to humans, supplement 7. IARC Press, Lyon

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgment

This work was financially supported by the Central Financial Support Project—Research on Sustainable Utilization and Comprehensive Exploitation of NanYao (project no. [2010] 358). Qiu Wei and Xiao Qiyan are gratefully acknowledged for their technical support.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Hui Xu.

Electronic supplementary material

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

ESM 1

(PDF 349 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Zheng, R., Xu, H., Wang, W. et al. Simultaneous determination of aflatoxin B1, B2, G1, G2, ochratoxin A, and sterigmatocystin in traditional Chinese medicines by LC–MS–MS. Anal Bioanal Chem 406, 3031–3039 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00216-014-7750-7

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00216-014-7750-7

Keywords

Navigation