Article Title

Determination of aflatoxins in liquor products by immuno-affinity column with fluorometry and HPLC


Liquors are the spirits of fermentive products. The oriental fermentation processes use Aspergillus species extensively. However, a few Aspergillus species, especially Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus, can produce aflatoxins. Besides, the raw materials for liquor productions are liable to fungal pollution under improper storage conditions. There may have the possibility of aflatoxin contaminaion in the brewing product if the fermentive raw materials are moldy or the fermentation processes are polluted. An immuno-affinity column of aflatoxins B1, B2, G1, and G2 was used for sample extraction. Subsequently, either a fluorometry determination method or an HPLC analysis with Cosmosil 5C18-AR column was applied for aflatoxin detection. There was no significant difference between the recoveries of these two detection methods when analyzed by ANOVA (α=0.05). The detection limits of all the four aflatoxins were 1 ppb for the fluorometry method. The detection limits of HPLC analysis were 1 ppb for aflatoxin G1 and 0.5 ppb for the others. The fluorometry method is simpler and faster than HPLC analysis, especially when there are many samples to be screened. However, the fluorometry method cannot identify the amount of individual aflatoxin and has higher detection limits than HPLC analysis. Therefore, fluorometry screening requires double amount of sample to compensate for the lower sensitivity of this method. Those fluorescent-positive samples should also be further identified and quantified by HPLC analysis. Using these standard procedures, no aflatoxins were detected in a total of 100 samples obtained between July 1995 and June 1996. These samples comprised 28 domestic liquor products from the Taiwan Tobacco and Wine Monopoly Bureau and 72 liquor products from Mainland China.

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