A hybridoma-based method utilizing tandem affinity chromatography and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was devised to detect zearalenone. A zearalenone specific monoclonal antibody was attached to Sepharose for initial sample clean-up. Zearalenone was eluted with methanol and then quantified by competitive direct ELISA. Average ELISA recoveries from the column for water spiked with zearalenone at levels of 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50 ng/ml were 107, 86, 95, 95, and 92%, respectively, with a mean recovery of 95%. Mean interwell and interassay coefficients of variation were 9.7 and 8.9%, respectively. Average recovery by the method from milk spiked with zearalenone at levels of 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50 ng/ml was 187, 113, 107, 110, and 112%, respectively, with a mean recovery of 126%. Mean interwell and interassay coefficients of variation were 14.5 and 9.1%, respectively. Zearalenone was not detectable in 12 commercial milk samples assayed by the tandem method.

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Author notes

1Visiting post doctoral fellow from the Dpto. de Higiene y Tecnología de los Alimentos, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain.