A new method to quantify the mycotoxin ochratoxin A (OTA) in coffee and tea samples is proposed based on second-order multivariate calibration and excitation-emission fluorescence matrix (EEFM) data. Experimental conditions were optimized by studying the effect of pH and various organized media on the fluorescence signal of OTA. For each analysed matrix (coffee grains and tea leaves), several sample pretreatments and calibration methods (external or standard addition) and data processing by chemometric models (e.g., parallel factor analysis/PARAFAC and multivariate curve resolution-alternating least squares/MCR-ALS) were evaluated and discussed. The MCR-ALS algorithm provided an adequate fit to the data for both samples, while PARAFAC was satisfactory only for the tea samples. Regarding the figures of merit, the limits of detection were in the range of 0.2–0.3 ng mL−1; furthermore, low relative prediction errors, between 2% and 4%, were achieved in both the fortified and real samples. Accordingly, the proposed methodology was applied to analyse fortified roasted and green coffee and real tea leaf samples. Satisfactory recoveries were achieved (ranging from 92 to 110%), and the obtained concentrations were in agreement with the values obtained by the reference method (based on high-performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection/HPLC-FLD). In addition, all samples contained OTA levels lower than the maximum permissible levels. Finally, the proposed strategy allows the use of green analytical chemistry principles; for instance, the use of organic solvents and the generation of waste products were significantly lower than for similar analytical methods reported in the literature.
- Coffee samples
- Fluorescence spectroscopy
- Ochratoxin A
- Second-order multivariate calibration
- Tea leaves