A novel HPLC method was developed for detection of the Fusarium mycotoxin, moniliformin in whole maize plants. The method is based on hydrophilic interaction chromatography (HILIC) on a ZIC zwitterion column combined with diode array detection and negative electrospray mass spectrometry (ESI−-MS). Samples were extracted using acetonitrile–water (85:15), and the extracts were cleaned up on strong anion exchange columns. By this procedure we obtained a recovery rate of 57–74% moniliformin with a limit of detection at 48 ng/g and a limit of quantification at 96 ng/g using UV detection at 229 nm, which is comparable to current methods used. Limit of detection and quantification using ESI−-MS detection was 1 and 12 ng/g, respectively. Screening of maize samples infected with the moniliformin producing fungi F. avenaceum, F. tricinctum, or F. subglutinans detected moniliformin levels of 1–12 ng/g in 15 of 28 samples using ESI−-MS detection. To our knowledge this is the first example of HILIC separation in mycotoxin analysis.
- hydrophilic interaction chromatography
- zwitterionic detection