A high-performance liquid chromatographic method (HPLC) with fluorescent detector is described for the determination of ochratoxin A (OTA). A mobile phase consisting of acetonitrile:water:acetic acid (99:99:2, v/v/v) was used for the resolution of the compound on a C-18 Hypersil column. The retention time for OTA and diflunisal which was used as an internal standard (IS) were 11.7 and 12.8 min, respectively. The method is selective, reliable, reproducable with relative standard deviation (RSD) of 1.70 and linear in the range of 2.5 x 10(-9)-1.5 x 10(-8) M OTA. The limit of detection (LOD) and limit of quantification (LOQ) were 2.5 x 10(-10) M corresponding to 0.1 ng mL(-1) and 8.2 x 10(-10) corresponding to 3.3 ng mL(-1), respectively. Recovery studies were 81.2 +/- 1.9 (SD). The method was applied for analysis of OTA in wheat, corn, red pepper, cheese and wine. The proposed method can be used for the routine analysis of OTA in food and animal feed. Copyright (C) 2002 John Wiley Sons, Ltd.