Zachariášová M, Hajšlová J, Godula M. Application Note 51961 Mycotoxins are the toxic secondary metabolites produced by many species of microscopic filamentary fungi occurring on field cereals, including barley. The most abundant fungal genera affecting the malting barley are Alternaria, Aspergillus, Penicillium and Fusarium, which simultaneously showed relatively high-producing potential for a wide range of mycotoxins. In addition to the relatively common micro mycetes mentioned above, Claviceps purpurea which causes ergot disease, belongs to numerous barley pathogens. Although the carry-over of aflatoxins, ochratoxin A, zearalenone, fumonisins, and ergot alkaloids from malted grains into beer was documented, the main research in this area focused on deoxynivalenol, the most frequent Fusarium mycotoxin. In recent years, the presence of deoxynivalenol’s main metabolite, deoxynivalenol-3- glucoside, has been reported at relatively high levels in malt and beer. This fact was further confirmed in the follow-up study, in which both deoxynivalenol and its glucoside were identified as the main contaminants of beers retailed on the European market. As beer is a significant dietary constituent to a large portion of the population, control of mycotoxins in this commodity is very important. For this purpose, reliable analytical methods for fast and effective monitoring of mycotoxins during the beer production chain are needed. There is a trend toward the simplification of sample preparation procedures as much as possible. Full spectral data acquisition techniques are also preferred because of their ease of usage, along with the possibility of retrospective archived data mining. Until now, the most common full spectral mass-spectrometric approach has been the time-of-flight technology (TOF-MS), with typical resolving power of approx. 12,500 FWHM (full width half maximum). However, in complex food matrices such as beer, this rather limited mass resolving power leads to the risk of inaccurate mass measurements caused by unresolved background matrix interferences. Mass spectrometry systems based on the Thermo Scientific Orbitrap technology routinely achieve mass resolving power of up to 100,000 FWHM and maintain excellent mass accuracy up to <5 ppm without the use of internal mass correction. The aim of this study was to introduce a multi-mycotoxin method for analysis of 32 mycotoxins in beer based on very simple sample preparation and ultra high performance liquid chromatography coupled with full spectral
Orbitrap™ MS detection.