A reliable and sensitive liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method was developed for the simultaneous determination of aflatoxins (AFB1, AFB2, AFG1, and AFG2), ochratoxin A (OTA), deoxynivalenol (DON), zearalenone (ZEA), fumonisin B1 (FB1), and T2-toxin in maize. The samples were first extracted using acetonitrile: water: acetic acid (79 : 20 : 1), and then further cleaned-up using OASIS HLB cartridge. Optimum conditions for the extraction and chromatographic separation were investigated. The mean recoveries of mycotoxins in spiked maize ranged from 68.3% to 94.3%. Limits of detection and quantification ranged from 0.01 to 0.64 μg/kg and from 0.03 to 2.12 μg/kg, respectively. The LC-MS/MS method has also been successfully applied to 60 maize samples, which were collected from Shaanxi Province of China. Twenty-four of the total 60 samples (40%) were contaminated with at least 1 of these 9 mycotoxins. Occurrence of mycotoxins were 6.7%, 1.7%, 3.3%, 6.7%, 1.7%, 23.3%, and 3.3% for AFB1, AFB2, OTA, ZEA, DON, FB1, and T2-toxin, respectively. The results demonstrated that the procedure was suitable for the simultaneous determination of these mycotoxins in maize matrix.
A sensitive LC-MS/MS method was developed for the simultaneous determination of aflatoxins (AFB1, AFB2, AFG1, AFG2), OTA, DON, ZEA, FB1, and T2-toxin in maize; OASIS HLB cartridge was adopted for cleanup of mycotoxins. This method will have potential analytical applications for other cereals and can be performed for routine analysis in laboratories.