Ergot alkaloids are mycotoxins that are undesirable contaminants of cereal products, particularly rye. A method was developed employing clean-up by cation-exchange solid-phase extraction, separation by high-performance liquid chromatography under alkaline conditions and fluorescence detection. It is capable of separating and quantifying both C8-isomers of ergocornine, alpha-ergocryptine, ergocristine, ergonovine, and ergotamine. The average recovery was 61% +/- 10% with limits of detection from 0.2 to 1.1 mu g kg(-1). Twenty-four unknown rye flour samples from Danish mills contained on average 46 mu g kg(-1) with a maximum content of 234 mu g kg(-1). The most common ergot alkaloids were ergotamine and alpha-ergocryptine including their C8-isomers. A total of 54% of the ergot alkaloids were detected as C(8)-S isomers.
- high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)
- ergot alkaloids
- rye flour