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  • 1 University of Offenburg Institute of Process Engineering Badstrasse 24 77652 Offenburg Germany
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Thin-layer chromatography is a rapid and reliable working method for quantification of mycotoxins which is suitable for checking EC legislation aflatoxin limits for dried figs without an RP-18 pre-column cleaning step. We describe normal-phase chromatography on silica gel plates with 2.4:0.05:0.1:0.05 ( v/v ) methyl t -butyl ether-water-methanol-cyclohexane as mobile phase and reversed-phase chromatography on RP-18 plates with methanol-4% aqueous ZnSO 4 solution-ethyl methyl ketone 15:15:3 ( v/v ) as mobile phase. Sample pretreatment was by modified QuEChERS (Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effective, Rugged, Safe) extraction with tetrahydrofuran or acetone. NaCl was used as QuEChERS salt. Response was a linear function of amount chromatographed in the ranges 3 to 100 pg per zone for aflatoxins B 2 and G 2 , 10 to 350 pg per zone for the aflatoxins B 1 and G 1 , and 0.25 to 2.5 ng per zone for ochratoxin A. Quantification limits for the aflatoxins were between 13 and 35 pg per zone (equivalent to 1.5 and 2.4 ppb, taking the pre-treatment procedure into account). Ochratoxin A was detectable with a limit of quantification of 970 pg per zone, corresponding to 56 ppb in the sample. Normal phase and RP-18 separations work rapidly, reliably, and at low cost. They are also suitable for checking the content of the mycotoxins patulin, penicillic acid, zearalenone, and deoxynivalenol.

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