In this study, the development of novel detection and on-line monitoring approaches for the detection of OTA in the field (i.e. out of the chemical laboratory) using advanced molecular sensing was investigated. Both stand-alone and hyphenated mass spectrometry (MS) based systems (e.g. Time-of-Flight ToF–MS and gas chromatography GC combined with MS) and compact portable membrane inlet MS (MIMS) have been employed for the first time to detect and monitor volatile emissions of grape berries infected by the fungus Aspergillus carbonarius. In vacuo (electron impact—EI) and ambient ionisation (electrospray ionisation—ESI) techniques were also examined. On-line measurements of the volatile emissions of grape berries, infected by various strains of A. carbonarius with different toxicity levels, were performed resulting in different olfactory chemical profiles with a common core of characteristic mass fragments, which could be eventually used for on-site detection and monitoring allowing consequent improvement in food security.
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