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T2 & HT2 Toxin Contamination Analysis

T2 toxin and its deacetylated form HT2 toxin are a group of compounds known as trichothecenes that are produced by the fungi of Fusarium species.

T2 and HT2 Toxin Contamination Analysis

Figure 1. Chemical structure of T2 toxin and HT2 toxin and related contaminated foods

T2 toxin and HT2 toxin are the largest group of Fusarium mycotoxins which contains over 150 compounds. The Fusarium species that are mainly responsible for the production of T2 and HT2 toxins are F. langsethiae, F. sporotrichioides, and F. poae. They can infect cereal crops under moist and cool conditions in the field. The highest levels of T2 and HT2 toxins that have been reported are associated with oats and oat-related products. The foods that contribute to the most contamination of T2 and HT2 toxins are grains and grain-based foods including breakfast cereals, bread, and fine bakery products. T2 and HT2 toxins belong to the type A trichothecenes which are generally more toxin than type B trichothecenes. The products can be contaminated during pre-harvest stage when the plants are grown. The poor storage conditions may further increase the level of mycotoxins in the foods and animal feeds.

Similar to the other trichothecenes, T2 and HT2 toxins can inhibit the synthesis of proteins and the cell proliferation in plants. They can induce apoptosis in some cells and the lipid peroxidation resulting in the adverse effects on the integrity of cell membranes. T2 and HT2 toxins can also cause chronic or acute toxicity effects on humans and animals. T2 and HT2 toxins are generally considered to have the same toxicity because T2 toxin metabolize into HT2 toxin after the consumption. The carcinogenicity of T2 and HT2 toxins in humans is still under investigation.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has established the tolerable daily intake (TDI) for T2 and HT2 toxins as 0.1 µg/kg body weight per day. The European Commission has specified the maximum levels for the total T2 and HT2 toxins in cereals and cereal based products. The contamination limits ranged from 15 µg/kg for cereal based foods for infants and young children up to 2000 µg/kg for oat milling products.

The procedure for the analysis of T2 and HT2 toxins in foods and animal feeds includes sample preparation and extraction, purification, and detection/quantification. We have expertise in the sample preparation of a variety types of food matrices. The sample preparation has significant effect on the accuracy of the level measured in the food samples.

We offer accurate and validated analytical platforms for both the identification and quantification that have been widely applied in the determination of T2 toxin and HT2 toxin in food and feed samples to meet customers' needs.

Liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (LC-MS)

LC-MS is a widely used and well established method for the quantification of T2 and HT2 toxins. The method offers low limit of detection and high accuracy. The median limit of quantification (LOQ) is in the range of 10 µg/kg.

We also maintain high quality assurance for the analysis. The recovery of internal standard, the use of blanks and spikes is monitored for each batch of analysis.

* Not intended for personal food safety testing.

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