Ochratoxin A in Paprika and Chili Powder


Paprika and Chili Powder

Thousands of years ago, the indigenous peoples of South and Central America have used paprika and chili powder to season various dishes. Only after the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus in 1492, the paprika and chilies came to Europe.

Nowadays they are indispensable as a spice in the kitchen. The chili is one of many different kinds of peppers. In 2017, almost 36 billion tonnes of paprika and chili powder were produced. The alkaloid capsaicin is responsible for the pungent aroma of the chilies, which is found especially in the oily plant components of the fruits are present. The capsaicin remains dried in the powder or pod and has an even sharper effect by reducing the water content.

During the drying process or under incorrect storage conditions, mycotoxin-producing molds may form in the peppers and chilis. These can be toxic to humans in too large quantities. For this reason, regular checks are carried out when chilies and peppers are imported. The importers of peppers and chilies include Mexico, Indonesia and Spain.

Ochratoxin A in Food and Feed

Ochratoxin A is a naturally occurring mycotoxin produced by moulds of the genera Aspergillus and Penicilium as primary contamination. Ochratoxin A is often formed in food and animal feed as well as in paprika and chili powder. In order to simplify the daily laboratory routine, LCTech has developed special solutions for the clean-up of ochratoxin A, which develops 3 mL OtaCLEAN immunoaffinity columns.

These achieve very good recovery rates even with difficult matrices, such as spices. In addition to the 3 mL format, they are also available as a practical 3 cm SMART version. Both are suitable for manual and automated processing, e.g. with the robotic system FREESTYLE SPE. Parameterize the application in the method of volume and flow rate - Here we go. The OtaCLEAN SMART columns convince not only by their small size and a lower cots, e.g reduced solvent consumption, shorter processing times and comparably good recovery rates.

Processing Protocol

Homogenise 10 g of paprika powder and add 1 g of sodium chloride. Extract the sample with 50 mL methanol/water (80/20 (v/v)) and 25 mL n-hexane in order to remove fat and oil. For high extraction efficiencies,
continue the extraction for at least 10 minutes. Filtrate the raw extract and dilute 2 mL of n-hexane free phase with 12 mL PBS (contains 8 % Tween20).

OtaCLEAN 3 mL column:
Load 14 mL of the sample (corresponds to 0.4 g matrix) onto an OtaCLEAN column. In order to remove unspecific matrix components and Tween residues efficiently, the column should be washed with 2 x 5 mL deionized water. Then elute, after drying, the OtaCLEAN column with 2 mL methanol. Make sure that the methanol 5 minutes into the column bed to achieve a complete denaturation of the antibodies and a release of the toxins.

OtaCLEAN SMART column:
At a flow rate of 1.5 mL/min, 2.8 mL of the sample (corresponds to 0.08 g matrix) is loaded onto the OtaCLEAN SMART column. Rinse the column with 2 x 1 mL deionized water at the same flow rate. The column is freed from liquid residues without an air flow. Elute the column with 0.4 mL methanol. Ensure that the methanol is allowed to act on the column bed for 5 minutes to completely break the antibody/toxin binding.

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

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