Monitoring of Aflatoxins in Medicinal Herbs

유통 생약재의 아플라톡신 모니터링

  • 김용훈 (서울지방식품의약품안전청) ;
  • 강한샘 (서울지방식품의약품안전청) ;
  • 오선우 (서울지방식품의약품안전청) ;
  • 이화정 (식품의약품안전청) ;
  • 김미경 (식품의약품안전청) ;
  • 정소영 (서울지방식품의약품안전청) ;
  • 최선희 (서울지방식품의약품안전청) ;
  • 방수진 (서울지방식품의약품안전청) ;
  • 한경진 (서울지방식품의약품안전청) ;
  • 이지원 (서울지방식품의약품안전청) ;
  • 김영선 (서울지방식품의약품안전청) ;
  • 김희연 (서울지방식품의약품안전청)
  • Received : 2009.09.14
  • Accepted : 2009.10.24
  • Published : 2010.02.28


This study was conducted to monitor aflatoxins in various medicinal herbs, providing available data for the safety of those products. To monitor aflatoxins in medicinal herbs, a total of 400 samples of 40 different herbs were collected in commercial retailers in Seoul, Daejeon, Gwangju, Daegu, and Busan from March to August, 2008. The samples that passed the sensory evaluation were tested for aflatoxins. Aflatoxins in samples were analyzed by HPLC-florescence coupled with photochemical enhancement. Samples were extracted with 70% methanol and then diluted to the appropriate concentration. A refining process was performed using an immunoaffinity column. The analytical method used in this study was validated. The $R^2$ value for aflatoxin $B_1$ was 0.99946, and the detection range was from 0.25 to 10.0 ng/mL. The accuracy of the analysis was ranged from 83.2% to 101.8%. The relative standard deviation (RSD) in the aflatoxin $B_1$ analysis was 3.4%, demonstrating the precision of this method. In addition, the detection limit and quantitative analysis limit of aflatoxin $B_1$ was $0.53\;{\mu}g/kg$ and $1.76\;{\mu}g/kg$, respectively. These results indicated that the analytical method used in this study was appropriate. The results of HPLC showed that 1% (4 samples) of the samples may contain aflatoxins. The concentration of quantified aflatoxin was $2.3\;{\mu}g/kg$ for both Quisqualis fructus and Remotiflori radix samples. The other samples were below the limit of quantification. Moreover, the concentration of aflatoxin $B_1$ which is made by specific fungi were below the level of regulation. Only 20% of aflatoxin $B_1$ were transferred to hot water. Therefore, the levels of aflatoxins in medicinal herbs were considered to be safe especially considering the aflatoxin transfer ratio.


aflatoxin;medicinal herb;mycotoxin


  1. Papadopoulou-Bouraoui A, Stroka J, Anklam E. Comparision of two post-column derivatization systems, ultraviolet irradiation, and electrochemical determination, for the liquid chromatographic determination of aflatoxins in food. J. AOAC Int. 83: 411-416 (2002)
  2. Nilufer D, Boyacioglu D. Comparative study of three different methods for the determination of aflatoxins in tahini. J. Agr. Food Chem. 50: 3375-3379 (2002)
  3. Edinboro LE, Karnes HT. Determination of aflatoxin $B_{1}$ in sidestream cigarette smoke by immunoaffinity column extraction coupled with liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry. J. Chromatogr. A 1083: 127-132 (2005)
  4. Devi KT, Mayo MA, Reddy KL, Delfosse P, Reddy G, Reddy SV, Reddy DV. Production and characterization of monoclonal antibodies for aflatoxin $B_{1}$. Lett. Appl. Microbiol. 29: 284-288 (1999)
  5. Autrup JL, Schmidt J, Autrup H. Exposure to aflatoxin B1 in animal-feed production plant workers. Environ. Health Persp. 99: 195-197 (1993)
  6. Gobel R, Rusky K. Simultaneous determination of aflatoxins, ochratoxin A, and zearlalenone in grains by new immunoaffinity column/liquid chromatography. J. AOAC Int. 87: 411-416 (2004)
  7. Bacaloni A, Cavaliere C, Cucci F, Foglia P, Samperi R, Lagana A. Determination of aflatoxins in hazelnuts by various sample preparation methods and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrosmetry. J. Chromatogr. A. 1179: 182-189 (2008)
  8. Ventura M, Gomez A, Anaya I, Diaz J, Broto F, Agut M, Comellas L. Determination of aflatoxins $B_{1}$, $G_{1}$, $B_{2}$, and $G_{2}$ in medical herbs by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectometry, J. Chromatogr. A 1048: 25-29 (2004)
  9. Shim WB, Park SJ, Seo JA, Chung DH. Study of mycotoxin in herbal medicine. The Annual Report of KFDA, Korea. 11: 775-776 (2007)
  10. Trucksess M, Weaver C, Oles C, D'ovidio K, Rader J. Determination of aflatoxins and ochratoxin A in ginseng and other botanical roots by immunoaffinity column cleanup and liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection, J. AOAC Int. 89: 624-630 (2006)
  11. Wang Y, Chai T, Lu G, Quan C, Duan H, Yao M, Zucker BA, Schlenker G. Simultaneous detection of airbone aflatoxin, ochratoxin and zearlalenone in a poultry house by immunoaffinity clean-up and high-performance liquid chromatography. Environ. Res. 107: 139-144 (2008)
  12. Tavacar-Kalcher G, Vrtac K, Pestevssk U, Vengust A. Validation of procedure for the determination of aflatoxin $B_{1}$ in animal liver using immunoaffinity columns and liquid chromatography with postcolumn derivatation and fluorescence detection. Food Control 18: 333-337 (2007)
  13. Cho SH, Lee CH, Jang MR, Son YW, Lee SM, Choi IS, Kim SH, Kim DB. Aflatoxins contamination in spices and processed spice products commercialized in Korea, Food Chem. 107: 1283-1288 (2008)
  14. Waltking AE, Wilson D. Liquid chromatographic analysis of aflatoxin using post-column photochemical derivatization: Collaborative study, J. AOAC Int. 89: 678-692 (2006)
  15. Chung DH, Park SJ, Shim WB, Yang ZY, Kim JY, Thoungrussamee T, Jiratpong T, Choi JG, Je JH, Gang YF, Jeon YG, Yu SH, Kim KY. Study on the establishment of mycotoxin standard in herbal medicine. The Annual Report of KFDA, Korea. 10: 589-590 (2006)