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J Chromatogr A. 2003 May 23;998(1-2):119-31.

Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry of the Alternaria mycotoxins alternariol and alternariol monomethyl ether in fruit juices and beverages.

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Food Research Division, Health Canada, Address Locator 2203D, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0L2, Canada.


Alternariol (AOH) and alternariol monomethyl ether (AME) are among the main mycotoxins formed in apples and other fruits infected by Alternaria alternata. For determination of AOH and AME by LC, apple juice and other fruit beverages were cleaned up on C18 and aminopropyl solid-phase extraction columns. Positive and negative ion mass spectra of AOH and AME under electrospray (ESI) and atmospheric pressure chemical ionization (APCI) conditions were obtained. Collision-induced dissociation of the [M+H]+ and [M-H]- ions for both compounds were also studied. The phenolic anions of both compounds are more stable with less fragmentation. In quantitative analysis, negative ion detection also offers lower background and better sensitivity. Sensitive LC-MS and LC-MS-MS confirmatory procedures based on APCI with negative ion detection were applied to confirm the natural occurrence of AOH in nine samples of apple juice and in single samples of some other clear fruit beverages--grape juice, cranberry nectar, raspberry juice, red wine, and prune nectar (which also contained 1.4 ng AME/ml)--at levels of up to 6 ng AOH/ml. Electrospray LC-MS-MS with negative ion detection and in multiple reaction monitoring mode offers higher sensitivity and specificity. Absolute detection was better than 4 pg per injection for both compounds.

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