The analysis of lipophilic marine toxins

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Consumption of lipophilic marine toxin contaminated shellfish can lead to severe intoxications. Methods described in European Union (EU) legislation to test for the presence of these toxins are based on a mouse or rat bioassay. These assays are unethical and have a poor sensitivity and selectivity. For this reason there is an urgent need for alternative methods. Most promising alternatives are the methods based on liquid chromatography - tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). A LC-MS/MS method with alkaline chromatographic conditions in which we were able to separate and analyze the most important toxins in a single analysis was developed. Furthermore, a clean up procedure based on solid phase extraction (SPE) was developed. A combination of SPE clean up and alkaline chromatographic conditions resulted in reduced matrix effects for all matrices tested (mussel, scallop and oyster). The developed SPE & LC-MS/MS method was in-house validated using EU Commission Decision 2002/657/EC. With respect to accuracy, repeatability, reproducibility and decision limit the method performed well. The method also performed excellently in view of possible new limits that are 4- to 5-fold lower than current limits for some toxins. A collaborative study was also performed for the most important toxins of the lipophilic marine toxin group.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConference Proceedings of the 14th ICHA, 01-05 November 2010, Crete, Greece
EditorsP. Pagou, G. Hallegraeff
Place of PublicationCrete
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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