The extraction of ochratoxin A from meat products is generally carried out using chlorinated organic solvents, such as chloroform or methyl chloride, acidified with hydrochloric or o-phosphoric acid. In this study, an innovative method was developed to extract ochratoxin A from pork and dry-cured ham samples. The method was based on an enzyme-assisted extraction with pancreatin in phosphate buffer pH 7.5. Pancreatin hydrolyses the proteins, so that ochratoxin A, kept in the ionised form, is easily extracted by the aqueous solution. After purification through an immunoaffinity column, ochratoxin A is determined by HPLC with fluorescence detection. The average recovery values were higher than 90.0% and the relative standard deviations were below 5.5%. The limits of detection and of quantification were 0.06 and 0.12 µgkg-1, respectively. A comparison between the new enzyme-assisted extraction and an established chloroform method was carried out on six naturally contaminated samples of pork and on 40 samples of dry-cured ham. Significantly higher (p<0.001) values of ochratoxin A were obtained on dry-cured ham samples by the enzyme-assisted method.
- Ochratoxin A