Detection and inactivation of saxitoxin in skim milk

Stephen E. Lumor, Bronwyn D. Deen, Ian Ronningen, Kenneth Smith, Neal R. Fredrickson, Francisco Diez-Gonzalez, Theodore P. Labuza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


nontoxic 8-Amino-6-hydroxymethyl-iminopurine-3(2H)-propionic acid (AHIPA), which was quantified by fluorescence spectroscopy using excitation and emission wavelengths of 330 and 425 nm, respectively. Samples of saxitoxin dihydrochloride (in 20% ethanol, vol/vol) were used as controls. The limits of detection of AHIPA, based on the concentration of saxitoxin prior to inactivation, were 5 and 10 mg/ml for the control and skim milk, respectively. These values are considerably below the concentration of saxitoxin that corresponds to the lethal dosage of 1 mg for an adult of average weight (70 kg). The inactivation of saxitoxin proceeded at a lower rate in skim milk than in the control, as its reaction rate constant was only 0.004 min21 compared with 0.011 min21 for the control. We were unable to detect AHIPA in 2% milk contaminated with saxitoxin because of possible interference from what we believed were products of secondary reactions involving milk fat and sodium hydroxide. Our results also indicated that the conversion of saxitoxin to AHIPA increased initially with temperature up to 40°C but decreased thereafter. We observed a decrease in the formation of AHIPA when the concentration of hydrogen peroxide was increased except at 22°C, where there was an initial increase in AHIPA formation between 1.2 and 2.4 mg/ml hydrogen peroxide but its formation decreased thereafter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1113-1116
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of food protection
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2012


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