Projects per year
The co-occurrence of regulated mycotoxins in foods and feeds, together with modified ("masked") and emerging mycotoxins, has been increasingly reported worldwide in recent years. Therefore, sensitive, accurate, and validated methods for the simultaneous determination of these hazardous contaminants in different matrices are highly demanded to fulfil regulatory requirements and to carry out reliable surveillance programs. In these last years, LC-MS methodologies for multimycotoxin screening and/or quantification are being routinely used in control laboratories. However, to date, only one European Standard for multimycotoxin determination is based on LC-MS (EN 16877:2016). The need for standardized LC-MS methods for multimycotoxin determination has been highlighted by regulatory authorities and scientific advisory bodies, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Commission. The European Committee for Standardization (CEN) has issued calls for tender for the development of standardized LC-MS methods for mycotoxins in food and animal feeding stuffs. As deliverables, some LC-MS based methods for multimycotoxin determination are currently under approval as European Standards. In addition, the European Commission has recently established specific criteria with which screening methods for mycotoxins, including LC-MS methods, have to comply for use for regulatory purposes. Validation procedures by single-laboratory and collaborative trials have been defined. This paper provides insights and advances on guidelines and tools for performance evaluation of LC-MS methods intended for quantitative determination and for semiquantitative screening of multimycotoxins. In particular, performance criteria set in the European Union and the United States are critically overviewed, and expectations, needs, and future challenges relevant to LC-MS methods for multimycotoxin determination are also discussed.