A simple, rapid and novel method based on salting-out assisted liquid–liquid extraction for ochratoxin A determination in beer samples prior to ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry

A novel, simple, easy and cheap sample treatment strategy based on salting-out assisted liquid-liquid extraction for ochratoxin A (OTA) ultra-trace analysis in beer samples using ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry determination was developed. The factors involved in the efficiency of pre-treatment were studied employing factorial design in the screening phase and the optimal conditions of the significant variables on the analytical response were evaluated using a central composite face-centred design. Consequently, the amount of salt ((NH4)2SO4), together with the volumes of sample, hydrophilic (acetone) and nonpolar (toluene) solvents, and times of vortexing and centrifugation were optimised. Under optimised conditions, the limits of detection and quantification were 0.02 µg l−1 and 0.08 µg l−1 respectively. OTA extraction recovery by SALLE was approximately 90% (0.2 µg l−1). Furthermore, the methodology was in agreement with EU Directive requirements and was successfully applied for analysis of beer samples.