Rapid determination of Alternaria mycotoxins in tomato samples by pressurised liquid extraction coupled to liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection

A sensitive and reliable method using pressurised liquid extraction (PLE) followed by molecularly imprinted solid phase extraction (MISPE) and high performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection (HPLC–FLD) has been developed for the analysis of alternariol (AOH) and alternariol monomethyl ether (AME) in tomato samples. Influence of several extraction parameters that affect PLE efficiency were evaluated for the simultaneous extraction of both mycotoxins in the selected samples. AOH and AME were optimally extracted using MeOH/water (25:75, v/v) at 70°C as solvent, a pressure of 1000 psi and a single extraction cycle. The resulting PLE extracts were pre-concentrated by molecularly imprinted solid phase extraction (MISPE) cartridges followed of analysis by HPLC with fluorescence detection (λexc = 258, λem = 440 nm). The proposed method was applied to the analysis of AOH and AME in fortified tomato samples (20–72 µg· kg–1) with recoveries of 84–97% (RSD < 8%, n = 6) for AOH and 67–91% (RSD < 13%, n = 6) for AME. The detection limit for AOH and AME were 7 and 15 µg· kg–1, respectively. The ensuing PLE–MISPE–HPLC–FLD method was validated for the analysis of both mycotoxins in tomato samples in accordance with European Commission Decision 2002/657/EC.