This tutorial review deals with the analytical methods available for the determination of mycotoxins in food commodities. As the secondary metabolites of a range of fungal species, mycotoxins possess diverse chemical structures, presenting analytical chemists with a unique set of challenges in the μg kg−1 (ppb) range. A number of analytical methods have been applied to mycotoxin analysis. These include widely applicable HPLC methods with UV or fluorimetric detection, which are extensively used both in research and for legal enforcement of food safety legislation and for regulations in international agricultural trade. Other chromatographic methods, such as TLC and GC, are also employed for the determination of mycotoxins, whereas recent advances in analytical instrumentation have highlighted the potential of LC-MS methods, especially for multi-toxin determination and for confirmation purposes. Conventional chromatographic methods are generally time consuming and capital intensive, and hence a range of methods, mostly based on immunological principles, have been developed and commercialised for rapid analysis. These methods include, among others, enzyme-linked immunosorbent analysis (ELISA), direct fluorimetry, fluorescence polarization, and various biosensors and strip methods.
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