An intercollaborative study was organized to evaluate the performance characteristics of a liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry procedure for the simultaneous determination of 12 mycotoxins in food, which were ochratoxin A, aflatoxins B1, B2, G1, G2, and M1, deoxynivalenol, zearalenone, fumonisins B1 and B2, and T-2 and HT-2 toxins. The method combined the simplicity of the QuEChERS (Quick, Easy, Cheap, Efficient, Rugged and Safe) approach with the efficiency of immunoaffinity column cleanup (the step used to enhance sensitivity and sample cleanup for some matrices only). Twenty-three entities were enrolled and were European reference laboratories for mycotoxin analysis, U.S. and European service laboratories, and Nestlé laboratories. Each participant analyzed 28 incurred and/or spiked blind samples composed of spices, nuts, milk powder, dried fruits, cereals, and baby food using the protocol given. Method performances were assessed according to ISO 5725-2. Relative standard deviations of repeatability and reproducibility and trueness values for each of the 115 mycotoxin/sample combinations ranged from 5% to 23%, 7% to 26%, and 85% to 129%, respectively, in line with requirements defined in EC 401/2006. The overall set of data gathered demonstrated that the method offered a unique platform to ensure compliance with EC 1881/2006 and EC 165/2013 regulations setting maximum limits for mycotoxins in food samples, even at low regulated levels for foods intended for infants and young children. The method was applicable regardless of the food, the regulated mycotoxin, and the concentration level, and thus is an excellent candidate for future standardization.
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