Quantitation of Aflatoxins B1, B2, G1, G2 and Ochratoxin A in Cannabis by LC Using Prominence-i and the RF-20Axs Fluorescence Detector



Aflatoxins and ochratoxins are varieties of mycotoxins produced as secondary metabolites from mold species within the genera Aspergillus. Studies have found that many mycotoxins, including Aflatoxins G1, G2, B1, B2, and Ochratoxins A, are immunosuppressive, carcinogenic, neurologically toxic, and hepatotoxic. The mold itself can also cause disease such as lung infection and aspergillosis. Considering the great risk to consumer health posed by the presence of mycotoxins and the possibility of mold growth in cannabis, the development of accurate testing methods for mycotoxins in cannabis are of utmost importance. As more states adopt policy changes allowing for medical or recreational use of marijuana, more regulations regarding testing of cannabis products have been implemented. Existing methods include ELISA, qPCR, and MALDI-ToF-MS; each one has their own advantages and disadvantages in terms of cost, range, preparation time, and accuracy. For instance, ELSA is not accurate and often gives false positive or negative results, and additional expensive instrumental tests need to be conducted to confirm the ELSA results. Moreover, due to the high level of matrix complexity of cannabis products, the mycotoxin testing in cannabis is even more challenging. This study focuses on developing a powerful detection method that allows cannabis testing labs to confidently report concentrations below regulatory limits - Aflatoxins B1, B2, G1 and G2 combined to 20ppb and 20ppb for Ochratoxins A alone.

January 7, 2020 GMT

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