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Aflatoxins B/G and Ochratoxin A in Hemp



Hemp, also known as cannabis, is one of the oldest useful and ornamental plants in the world. As early as 10,000 BC, hemp was used as a medicinal plant in China and is therefore often referred to as „Panaceas“, which means „all healer“. That is why hemp is also often used for pain relief in diseases such as AIDS, cancer, MS and rheumatism. For this reason the acquisition and the intake by prescription is legalized in some countries like Canada, USA, Uruguay, etc. The individual components of the plant are universally applicable and can be used to produce many different products, such as tea. 

Hemp flower tea has a variety of health-promoting and calming properties. For example, it reduces the symptoms of migraines or helps with sleep disorders. In addition, tea has a purifying effect and curbs the appetite, which is the reason why it is often used to accompany diets.

By modifying the flowers, the THC contained in the plant material is converted into CBN and thus no longer has an intoxicating effect. However, if hemp is stored or dried incorrectly, moulds can form, which in turn can produce mycotoxins that can damage the liver and kidneys or even cause cancer. If the infested hemp is processed into tea, this can be harmful to the consumer.

Automated clean-up with FREESTYLE SPE

Day, night and even on weekends - the automated FREESTYLE system takes care of your daily routine mycotoxin analysis tasks unattended around the clock, leaving you more time for other important laboratory tasks.

For the automated clean-up of aflatoxins and ochratoxins in hemp, extract, filter and dilute it according to the instructions of the processing protocol on the following page. Then place the sample in the FREESTYLE SPE, equip the racks with the necessary columns, parameterize the method in the software with a few mouse clicks and start the system - ready.

Processing protocol

Homogenize 10 g hemp and add 2 g sodium chloride. Subsequently extract the mixture with 100 mL methanol/water (80/20 (v/v)) and 50 mL n-hexane to remove essential oils and fats. To achieve high extraction efficiency, perform the extraction for 30 minutes.

Filter the raw extract and dilute 2 mL with 12 mL PBS (contains 8% Tween20). Then load 14 mL of the sample (equivalent to 0.2 g matrix) either on an AflaCLEAN column, AflaCLEAN Select column or OtaCLEAN column. To allow efficient binding of the toxins to the antibodies, the flow rate should not exceed 2 mL/min. Wash the column with 2 x 5 mL deionized water and use the washing solution to rinse the sample reservoir.

Elute the toxin with 2 mL methanol. Ensure that the methanol acts in the column bed for 5 minutes to ensure complete denaturation of the antibodies.

Find more details, recovery rates, HPLC-conditions and chromatograms here.

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