Simultaneous quantification of ergot and tropane alkaloids in bread in the Netherlands by LC-MS/MS

Aleksandrs Veršilovskis*, Patrick P.J. Mulder, Diana P.K.H. Pereboom-de Fauw, Joyce de Stoppelaar, Monique de Nijs

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Atropine and scopolamine are tropane alkaloids (TAs), which are regulated for cereal-based foods for children in the EU. For ergot alkaloids (EAs) in cereals and cereal-based food harmonised legislation is not yet established. A fast and straightforward method, which employs extraction by acidified water/methanol followed by ultra-filtration prior to analysis by LC-MS/MS, was validated in bread for 20 EAs and six TAs. LOQs for individual alkaloids ranged from 0.3 to 1.2 µg kg−1, while recoveries ranged from 65% to 94% and repeatability from 3.4% to 17%. A survey was conducted in the Netherlands on 40 retail samples of bread (wheat, rye, wheat-rye, multi-grain) collected in 2014 and 2018. TAs, including atropine and scopolamine, were not detected. Eighteen different EAs were detected and total levels varied between <LOQ and 335 µg kg−1. Since EAs were detected in a wide concentration range, it is recommended to monitor their occurrence in bread more regularly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-223
JournalFood Additives and Contaminants: Part B Surveillance
Issue number3
Early online date1 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


  • bread
  • Ergot alkaloids
  • LC-MS/MS
  • quantification
  • survey
  • tropane alkaloids


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