Approach for ochratoxin A fast screening in spices using clean-up tandem immunoassay columns with confirmation by high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS)

I. Yu Goryacheva, S. De Saeger, M. Lobeau, S. A. Eremin, I. Barna-Vetró, C. Van Peteghem

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An approach for ochratoxin A (OTA) fast cost-effective screening based on clean-up tandem immunoassay columns was developed and optimized for OTA detection with a cut-off level of 10 μg kg-1 in spices. Two procedures were tested and applied for OTA detection. Column with bottom detection immunolayer was optimized for OTA determination in Capsicum ssp. spices. A modified clean-up tandem immunoassay procedure with top detection immunolayer was successfully applied for all tested spices. Its main advantages were decreasing of the number of analysis steps and quantity of antibody and also minimizing of matrix effects. The total duration of the extraction and analysis was about 40 min for six samples. Chilli, red pepper, pili-pili, cayenne, paprika, nutmeg, ginger, white pepper and black pepper samples were analyzed for OTA contamination by the proposed clean-up tandem immunoassay procedures. Clean-up tandem immunoassay results were confirmed by HPLC-MS/MS with immunoaffinity column clean-up. Among 17 tested Capsicum ssp. spices, 6 samples (35%) contained OTA in a concentration exceeding the 10 μg kg-1 limit discussed by the European Commission. All tested nutmeg (n = 8), ginger (n = 5), white pepper (n = 7) and black pepper (n = 6) samples did not contain OTA above this action level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-45
Number of pages8
JournalAnalytica Chimica Acta
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2006



  • High performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS)
  • Immunoassay
  • Ochratoxin A
  • Screening
  • Spices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy

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