An ultrahigh-performance LC (UHPLC)–tandem MS (MS/MS) method for determination of paralytic shellfish poisoning toxins and tetrodotoxin (TTX) in bivalve molluscs was developed.

To be used for regulatory testing, it needed to be validated through collaborative study. 

Objective: The aim was to conduct a collaborative study with 21 laboratories, using results to assess method performance. 

Methods: Study materials incorporated shellfish species mussels, oysters, cockles, scallops, and clams and were assessed to demonstrate stability and homogeneity.

Mean concentrations determined by participants for blind duplicate samples were used to assess reproducibility, repeatability, and trueness. 

Results: Method performance characteristics were excellent following statistical assessment of participant data, with method trueness showing excellent method accuracy against expected values.

No significant difference was found in the trueness results determined by different chromatographic column types.

Acceptability of the between-laboratory reproducibility for individual analytes was evidenced by >99% of valid Horwitz ratio values being less than the 2.0 limit of acceptability. With excellent linearity and sensitivity fit-for-purpose over a range of mass spectrometer instruments, the UHPLC-MS/MS method compared well against other detection methods.

It includes additional paralytic shellfish toxin (PST) analogues as well as TTX, which, to date, have not been incorporated into any other hydrophilic marine toxin official method of analysis. 

Conclusions: The results from this study demonstrate that the method is suitable for the analysis of PST analogues and TTX in shellfish tissues and is recommended as an official alternative method of analysis for regulatory control. 

Highlights: A new mass spectrometric method for PST and TTX has been validated successfully through collaborative study.

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