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Mycotoxins: Applications & Testing Methodology

Mycotoxins are naturally occurring toxins that are produced by certain molds, and can cause a variety of adverse health effects in humans and other animals. Mycotoxins can accumulate on food commodities as well as animal feed and natural raw materials that are used in a variety of applications, including dietary supplements. They have also been found to be present in other products that are made from naturally-occurring agricultural commodities, including tobacco products and tea leaves.

Mycotoxin Regulations

Maximum levels for mycotoxins in foodstuffs have been established worldwide to protect consumer health, and maximum levels vary based upon regional and country-specific regulations. Five primary groups of mycotoxins are commonly found in food and feed:

  • Aflatoxins
  • Vomitoxin, also known as deoxynivalenol (DON)
  • Ochratoxin A
  • Fumonisin
  • Zearalenone

Mycotoxin Testing Methodology

Analytical methods for monitoring mycotoxins in food commodities have been developed by recognized international organizations including ISO (International Organization for Standardization), CEN (European Committee for Standardization), and AOAC International. Methods for testing food and feed products for mycotoxins include rapid Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) tests, and more in-depth chromatography-based methods which produce more detailed data.

Advantages of LC/MS-MS Mycotoxin Methods

Sensitive and reliable methods are needed to detect mycotoxins, due to the fact that mycotoxin toxicity occurs at very low concentrations. In particular, LC/MS-MS mycotoxin methods provide both qualitative and quantitative data, and offer low limits of detection (LOD). Mycotoxins can be partially purified and concentrated using solid phase extraction (SPE) prior to LC/MS-MS analysis, resulting in improved sensitivity. LC/MS-MS methodology offers high sensitivity and specificity, and is appropriate for complex sample matrices. LC/MS-MS mycotoxin test methods are appropriate for:

  • An overview of regulated metabolites
  • Detection of most common mycotoxins
  • Identification of the full toxic load

Avomeen Offers Mycotoxin Testing by Validated LC/MS-MS Methods

Avomeen can analyze a wide range of sample matrices for a number of mycotoxins by validated LC/MS-MS methods. Specifically, our methods are validated for the following mycotoxin contaminants:

  • 3-Acetyldeoxynivalenol (3-AcDON)
  • Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1)
  • Aflatoxin B2 (AFB2)
  • Aflatoxin G1 (AFG1)
  • Aflatoxin G2 (AFG2)
  • Alternariol (ALT)
  • Deoxynivalenol (DON)
  • Diacetoxyscirpenol (DAS)
  • Fumonisin B1 (FB1)
  • Fumonisin B2 (FB2)
  • Fumonisin B3 (FB3)
  • Fusarenon-X (FUSX)
  • HT-2 toxin (HT2)
  • Neosolaniol (NEO)
  • Nivalenol (NIV)
  • Ochratoxin A (OTA)
  • T-2 toxin (T2)
  • Zearalanol (ZEA; a combination of α-zearalanol and β-zearalanol)
  • Zearalenone (ZON)
  • Antifungal thiabendazole (THIA)

To learn more about Avomeen’s mycotoxin testing and wrap around services, contact us to talk with an expert.


Our featured expert is Dr. Andrew Kolbert, Avomeen’s President and CTO. Andrew has 20 years of experience executing and managing analytical and product development programs, both internally and in external organizations. Avomeen clients regularly benefit from his expertise in analytical chemistry and product development, particularly in highly regulated areas, including pharmaceutical development and testing, food contact migration studies, extractables and leachables studies, food additive and food contact notification testing and registration, and pesticide and insecticide testing under FIFRA. With his sound perspective, Andrew has been sought out as an expert witness for industry litigation cases and has participated in FDA pre-notification conferences, FDA site audits, and trained FDA inspectors on analytical technology.