Detection of apple juices and cereals which exceed permitted levels of mycotoxins

Detection of apple juices and cereals which exceed permitted levels of mycotoxins

Researchers in Spain have analyzed the presence of patulin, a type of toxin produced by fungi, in several commercial apple juices. The results show that more than 50 percent of the samples analyzed exceed the maximum limits laid down by law. They have also discovered a sample of rice with more mycotoxins than permitted. For their part, researchers have also found these harmful substances in beers, cereals and products made from them, such as gofio flour.

via ScienceDaily: Agriculture and Food News:

June 7, 2013 — Researchers from the University of Granada (Spain) have analysed the presence of patulin, a type of toxin produced by fungi, in several commercial apple juices. The results show that more than 50% of the samples analysed exceed the maximum limits laid down by law. They have also discovered a sample of rice with more mycotoxins than permitted. For their part, researchers from the University of Valencia have also found these harmful substances in beers, cereals and products made from them, such as gofio flour.They are not very well known, but mycotoxins top the list of the most widespread natural contaminants in foodstuffs at the global level. They are toxic and carcinogenic substances produced by fungi, which reach the food chain through plants and their fruit. Now new analytical techniques developed in universities such as Granada and Valencia (Spain) show that some foodstuffs exceed permitted levels of these harmful compounds.Researchers from the University of Granada (UGR) have used their own method of ‘microextraction and capillary electrophoresis’ to analyse concentrations of a kind of mycotoxins, patulin, in 19 batches of eight brands of commercial apple juice. They differentiated between conventional juice, organic juice and juice designed specifically for children.”The results show that more than 50% of the samples analysed exceeded the maximum contents laid down by European law,” as explained by Monsalud del Olmo, co-author of the study, which is published this month in the magazine ‘Food Control’.The maximum levels of patulin established by the EU are 50 micrograms per kilogram of product (μg/kg) for fruit juices and nectars, 25 μg/kg for compotes and other solid apple products and 10 μg/kg if those foodstuffs are aimed at breast-fed babies and young children.However, some samples of conventional apple juices had as much as 114.4 μg/kg, and one batch labelled as baby food had 162.2 μg/kg, more than 15 times the legal limit.Patulin is produced by several species of fungi of the Penicillium, Aspergillus and Byssochylamys varieties, which are found naturally in fruit, mainly apples. They are transferred to juices during processing because of their solubility in water and stability.The neurotoxic, immunotoxic and mutagenic effects of this substance have been confirmed in animal models. “Even then, it is not one of the most dangerous mycotoxins for health and it is included in group 3 within the categories laid down by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC),” Monsalud del Olmo pointed out.This WHO agency classifies mycotoxins and other compounds in four groups according to their carcinogenic potential for humans: 1 (carcinogenic), 2 (probably or possibly carcinogenic), 3 (not classifiable as carcinogenic, although it has not been proven that it is not) and 4 (probably not carcinogenic).Some mycotoxins, such as aflatoxins, are in group 1 and can be found in dry fruit, such as peanuts and pistachios, and cereals. UGR scientists have also detected concentrations of this compound above the permitted levels in a sample of rice, and they have already informed the relevant authorities of this.Other toxins from fungi, such as fumonisins and ochratoxins, are also included in group 2. …

For more info: Detection of apple juices and cereals which exceed permitted levels of mycotoxins

ScienceDaily: Agriculture and Food News

Detection of apple juices and cereals which exceed permitted levels of mycotoxins

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