The presence of ochratoxin A (OTA) in wine represents a serious risk for consumer health. This is a global problem but is most severe in developed countries. This paper describes the adsorption of OTA from both contaminated phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) and white wine by activated carbon (AC) and sodium bentonite, following incubation at different concentrations, at various times; with OTA removal being quantified by high-performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection. A significant reduction of OTA both in PBS and wine was found after treatment with AC, even at very low levels of adsorbent. When PBS and wine samples contaminated with 5 ng ml(-1) OTA was treated with 1 mg ml(-1) AC, 100% and 87% of the available toxin were adsorbed by the sorbent, respectively, without the need for a lengthy incubation period. Adsorption abilities varied depending on the both AC and toxin concentrations used together with the incubation period employed. In contrast, treatment with bentonite caused only small decreases in the OTA levels present in both the artificially contaminated PBS and wine samples. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.