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Review

Current Developments of Analytical Methodologies for Aflatoxins’ Determination in Food during the Last Decade (2013–2022), with a Particular Focus on Nuts and Nut Products

1
Department of Chemical, Pharmaceutical, and Agricultural Sciences, University of Ferrara, via L. Borsari 46, 44121 Ferrara, Italy
2
Laboratorio de Investigación y Desarrollo de Métodos Analíticos, LIDMA, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, CIC-PBA, CONICET, Calle 47 Esq. 115, La Plata 1900, Argentina
3
Department of Environmental and Prevention Sciences, University of Ferrara, Via L. Borsari 46, 44121 Ferrara, Italy
4
Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, University of Liège, Passage des Déportés 2, 5030 Gembloux, Belgium
5
Organic and Biological Analytical Chemistry Group, MolSys Research Unit, University of Liège, 4000 Liège, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Foods 2023, 12(3), 527; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12030527
Received: 2 December 2022 / Revised: 9 January 2023 / Accepted: 20 January 2023 / Published: 24 January 2023

Abstract

This review aims to provide a clear overview of the most important analytical development in aflatoxins analysis during the last decade (2013–2022) with a particular focus on nuts and nuts-related products. Aflatoxins (AFs), a group of mycotoxins produced mainly by certain strains of the genus Aspergillus fungi, are known to impose a serious threat to human health. Indeed, AFs are considered carcinogenic to humans, group 1, by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Since these toxins can be found in different food commodities, food control organizations worldwide impose maximum levels of AFs for commodities affected by this threat. Thus, they represent a cumbersome issue in terms of quality control, analytical result reliability, and economical losses. It is, therefore, mandatory for food industries to perform analysis on potentially contaminated commodities before the trade. A full perspective of the whole analytical workflow, considering each crucial step during AFs investigation, namely sampling, sample preparation, separation, and detection, will be presented to the reader, focusing on the main challenges related to the topic. A discussion will be primarily held regarding sample preparation methodologies such as partitioning, solid phase extraction (SPE), and immunoaffinity (IA) related methods. This will be followed by an overview of the leading analytical techniques for the detection of aflatoxins, in particular liquid chromatography (LC) coupled to a fluorescence detector (FLD) and/or mass spectrometry (MS). Moreover, the focus on the analytical procedure will not be specific only to traditional methodologies, such as LC, but also to new direct approaches based on imaging and the ability to detect AFs, reducing the need for sample preparation and separative techniques.
Keywords: mycotoxins; aflatoxins; nuts; sampling; sample preparation; chromatography; direct techniques; aflatoxin determination mycotoxins; aflatoxins; nuts; sampling; sample preparation; chromatography; direct techniques; aflatoxin determination

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MDPI and ACS Style

Schincaglia, A.; Aspromonte, J.; Franchina, F.A.; Chenet, T.; Pasti, L.; Cavazzini, A.; Purcaro, G.; Beccaria, M. Current Developments of Analytical Methodologies for Aflatoxins’ Determination in Food during the Last Decade (2013–2022), with a Particular Focus on Nuts and Nut Products. Foods 2023, 12, 527. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12030527

AMA Style

Schincaglia A, Aspromonte J, Franchina FA, Chenet T, Pasti L, Cavazzini A, Purcaro G, Beccaria M. Current Developments of Analytical Methodologies for Aflatoxins’ Determination in Food during the Last Decade (2013–2022), with a Particular Focus on Nuts and Nut Products. Foods. 2023; 12(3):527. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12030527

Chicago/Turabian Style

Schincaglia, Andrea, Juan Aspromonte, Flavio A. Franchina, Tatiana Chenet, Luisa Pasti, Alberto Cavazzini, Giorgia Purcaro, and Marco Beccaria. 2023. "Current Developments of Analytical Methodologies for Aflatoxins’ Determination in Food during the Last Decade (2013–2022), with a Particular Focus on Nuts and Nut Products" Foods 12, no. 3: 527. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12030527

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