Screening and confirmatory methods for the analysis of macrocyclic lactone mycotoxins by CE with amperometric detection.
ABSTRACT A simple analytical scheme for the screening and quantification of zearalenone and its metabolites, alpha-zearalenol and beta-zearalenol, is reported. Extracts from maize flour samples were collected by supercritical fluid extraction and afterwards, they were analyzed by CE with amperometric detection. This scheme allowed a rapid and reliable identification of contaminated flour samples according to the reference value established for zearalenone by directive 2005/38/EC (200 microg/kg). The sample screening method was carried out by CZE using 25 mM borate separation buffer at pH 9.2 and 25.0 kV as separation voltage, monitoring the amperometric signal at +700 mV with a carbon paste electrode. In this way, total amount of mycotoxins was determined and samples were processed in 4 min with a detection limit of 12 microg/L, enough to discriminate between positive (more than 200 microg/L total mycotoxins) and negative samples (less than 200 microg/L total mycotoxins). Positive samples were then subjected to CZE separation and quantification of each analyte was done with 50 mM borate running buffer modified with 30% methanol at pH 9.7 and 17.5 kV as separation voltage. Under these conditions, separation was achieved in 15 min with detection limits from 20 to 35 microg/L for each analyte.