A Validated LC-HRMS Method for the Detection of
T-2 and HT-2 Toxins in Cereals

Bryan J McCullougha,b and Christopher J Hopleya

a  Organic Analysis, Measurement Research, LGC Ltd, Queens Road, Teddington, TW11 0LY, UK
b  Corresponding author: bryan.mccullough@lgcgroup.com


The tricothocene mycotoxins T-2 Toxin and HT-2 Toxin have been shown to be toxic to a range of species and, as a consequence, limits have been set on their consumption. The toxins have been found in a range of grain varieties and grain-containing products which each have specific limits above which further investigation must be carried out. Here we describe the development and partial validation of a method for the detection of T-2 and HT-2 Toxins in cereals. Samples of oat flour and corn flour were spiked with the mycotoxins at various levels between 5 and 500ng/g before being extracted using a modified QuEChERS approach. Analysis of the subsequent extracts was carried out via LC-MS using a high resolution quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometer. Using this method the limits of detection for the two analytes were at least 5ng/g in each matrix with limits of quantitation of each set as 10ng/g. The method was validated across four batches (two per matrix) at three levels (10, 25 and 100ng/g) with excellent recovery and low variability across the levels.

The use of high resolution mass spectrometry and accurate mass for this type of analysis is a departure from a more typical approach which generally involves low resolution, triple quadrupole mass spectrometry operating in selected reaction monitoring mode. We therefore also describe the development of specific analyte identification criteria for such technology.


High resolution MS, mycotoxins, HT-2 Toxin, T-2 Toxin, LC/MS, QuEChERS, cereals

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