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A Special Focus on Mycotoxin Contamination in Baby Foods: Their Presence and Regulations

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Abstract

Food safety is one of the major concerns in researches related to food toxicology. Contaminants present in food and feed are the most attention-drawing subjects in the last decade. Particularly, mycotoxin contamination is of great importance as it is widespread and unpreventable. Mycotoxins are toxic secondary metabolites by different fungi species. These compounds pose a potential threat to human and animal health through the ingestion of food products prepared from these commodities. Mycotoxicosis is the term used for poisoning associated with exposures to mycotoxins. The symptoms of a mycotoxicosis depend on the type of mycotoxin; the concentration and length of exposure; as well as age, health, and sex of the exposed individual. Aflatoxin B1 and ochratoxin A are mutagenic, teratogenic, and carcinogenic in many species where Fusarium toxins such as T2 toxin pose a threat as biological warfare agent. Many international agencies are trying to achieve universal standardization of regulatory limits for mycotoxins. Special emphasis must be drawn to mycotoxin contamination of baby foods and infant formulas as babies and small children are the most susceptible population to the effects of these toxins. In this review, the toxic effects of mycotoxins, the regulations in Europe and United States as well as Turkey and particularly the studies and regulations in baby foods will be dwelt upon.
FABAD J. Pharm. Sci., 33, 51–66, 2008
51
REVIEW ARTICLE
A Special Focus on Mycotoxin Contamination in
Baby Foods: Their Presence and Regulations
Pınar ERKEKOĞLU*, Gönül ŞAHIN*, Terken BAYDAR*°
A Special Focus on Mycotoxin Contamination in Baby
Foods: Their Presence and Regulations
Summary
Food safety is one of the major concerns in researches related
to food toxicology. Contaminants present in food and feed
are the most attention-drawing subjects in the last decade.
Particularly, mycotoxin contamination is of great importance
as it is widespread and unpreventable. Mycotoxins are toxic
secondary metabolites by different fungi species. These
compounds pose a potential threat to human and animal
health through the ingestion of food products prepared
from these commodities. Mycotoxicosis is the term used for
poisoning associated with exposures to mycotoxins. The
symptoms of a mycotoxicosis depend on the type of mycotoxin;
the concentration and length of exposure; as well as age,
health, and sex of the exposed individual. Aflatoxin B1 and
ochratoxin A are mutagenic, teratogenic, and carcinogenic
in many species where Fusarium toxins such as T2 toxin
pose a threat as biological warfare agent. Many international
agencies are trying to achieve universal standardization of
regulatory limits for mycotoxins. Special emphasis must be
drawn to mycotoxin contamination of baby foods and infant
formulas as babies and small children are the most susceptible
population to the effects of these toxins. In this review, the
toxic effects of mycotoxins, the regulations in Europe and
United States as well as Turkey and particularly the studies
and regulations in baby foods will be dwelt upon.
Key Words: mycotoxin, regulatory limits, baby food/infant
formula
Received: 26.11.2009
Revised: 25.05.2010
Accepted: 03.07.2010
Bebek Mamalarında Mikotoksin Kontaminasyonuna
Bakış: Bulunuşları ve Yasal Düzenlemeleri
Özet
Gıda güvenliği gıda toksikolojisi ile ilgili araştırmaların
ana konularından biridir. Gıdalarda ve yemlerdeki
bulaşıcılar son on yılın en çok ilgi çeken konusu olmuştur.
Yaygın ve önlenemez olması nedeniyle özellikle mikotoksin
kontaminasyonu çok önemlidir. Mikotoksinler farklı mantar
türlerinin toksik sekonder metabolitleridir. Bu bileşikler
bunları içeren gıdaların alımıyla insan ve hayvan sağlığı
için potansiyel bir tehdittir. Mikotoksikoz mikotoksin
maruziyetiyle ortaya çkan zehirlenme için kullanılan bir
terimdir. Mikotoksikozisin semptomları mikotoksin türüne,
maruziyetin miktarına ve süresine, bireyin yaşına, sağlık
durumuna ve cinsiyetine göre değişmektedir. Aflatoksin B1
ve okratoksin A mutajenik, teratojenik ve karsinojeniktir.
Fusarium türlerinden T2 biyolojik savaş ajanı olarak
bir tehdit oluşturmaktadır. Birçok uluslararası kuruluş
mikotoksinlerin limit düzenlemelerine bir standardizasyon
getirmeye çalışmaktadır. Bebekler ve küçük çocuklar bu
toksinlerin etkilerine daha hassas oldukları için özel olarak
bebek mamalarındaki mikotoksin kontaminasyonuna
dikkat edilmelidir. Bu derlemede mikotoksinlerin toksik
etkilerinden; Avrupa, Amerika Bileşik Devletleri ve
Türkiye’deki regülasyonlardan bahsedilecek ve özellikle bebek
mamaları üzerindeki çalışmalar ve regülasyonların üzerinde
durulacaktır.
Anahtar Kelimeler: mikotoksin, düzenleyici limitler, bebek
maması
* Department of Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey
° Corresponding author E-mail: tbaydar@hacettepe.edu.tr
Erkekoğlu, Şahin, Baydar
52
INTRODUCTION
A major international focus has been ensuring the
safety of food. Toxins present in food and animal feed
are of major concern of health care givers and public
for decades. A toxin can be defined as a substance
that is synthesized by a plant species, an animal, or by
microorganisms, that is harmful to another organism.
The term ‘mycotoxin’ is usually reserved for the
relatively small (MW 700), toxic chemical products
formed as secondary metabolites by a few fungi that
readily colonize crops in the field or after harvest.
These compounds pose a potential threat to human
and animal health through the ingestion of food
products prepared from these commodities. Generally,
crops that are stored for more than a few days become
a potential target for mould growth and mycotoxin
formation. Mycotoxins can occur both in temperate
and tropical regions of the world, depending on the
species of fungi. Contamination can occur pre- or post-
harvest or at the field (1). Favorable conditions such as
high humidity and high temperature can increase the
content of mycotoxin during storage. Cereals, spices,
nuts, grapes, apples, dried fruit, dried vegetables
(peas, beans), oil seeds, teas, cocoa and coffees can
contain high amount of different mycotoxins. Food-
based mycotoxins and their health effects were
extensively studied in the last century and there are
several regulations based on their presence in different
foodstuffs (2-4). Mycotoxins can also enter the human
food chain via meat or other animal products such as
eggs, milk and cheese as the result of livestock eating
contaminated feed (5).
Mycotoxin Types
Aflatoxins
Aflatoxins (AFs) are naturally occurring highly
toxic mycotoxins that are produced as secondary
metabolites of different widespread Aspergillus
species (Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus parasitius,
Aspergillus nomius) and they may be present in
groundnuts, other edible nuts, dried fruits, spices,
figs and cereals (especially maize) (2, 6-10). Sources
of AF contamination in animal feedstuffs may vary
geographically. Contamination of agricultural
crops with AFs is a worldwide problem not limited
to developing countries, where both climatic
and technological conditions stimulate aflatoxin
formation (11). Aspergillus flavus produces AFB1 and
AFB2, while two other species produce AFG1 and
AFG2 (10). The diseases caused by AF consumption
are called aflatoxicosis. Acute aflatoxicosis results
in death; chronic aflatoxicosis results in cancer,
immune suppression, and other “slow” pathological
conditions (12).
AFB1 is the most known potent natural carcinogen.
The activation of AFB1 by Phase I enzymes namely,
cytochrome P450 (CYPs) isoenzymes CYP1A2 and
CYP3A4, produces AF1-8,9-epoxide which is highly
carcinogenic in humans. It forms DNA adducts
and albumin adducts (13). A reactive glutathione
S-transferase (GST) system found in the cytosol and
microsomes catalyzes the conjugation of activated
aflatoxins with reduced glutathione, leading to the
excretion of aflatoxin (14). Variations in the level
of the GST system as well as variations in the CYP
system are thought to contribute to the differences
observed in interspecies aflatoxin susceptibility (15).
AFB1 is listed as Group I agent by International
Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). The principle
target organ of AFB1 is liver. It is known that the
reactive aflatoxin epoxide binds to the N
7
position
of guanines (16). AFB1 causes mutation of p53 gene
at third base of codon 249, and takes the form of G
>T transversions. This mutation may inactivate p53
and the detection of TP53 mutant DNA plasma is a
biomarker of both AFB1 exposure and hepatocellular
carcinoma (17, 18). AFB1 alters the activation of p53
in CYP450-expressing human lung cells (19). Long-
term exposure to AFB1 produces liver enlargement
and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), which is one
of the most common cancers worldwide, causing
millions of deaths annually (2, 13, 17, 20). There are
several studies conducted on animals indicating the
carcinogenic potency of AFB1. Mice and hamster
are protected against AFB1-induced HCCs in in vivo
and in vitro conditions. Mouse liver is protected as a
consequence of the impermeability of mitochondrial
membrane to the toxin. On the other hand, it is a more
complex process including both a permeability barrier
and a possible scavenging system in hamsters (21).
Moreover, AFB1 causes colon and kidney cancers in
rats, lung adenomas in mice, cholangiocellular cancer
FABAD J. Pharm. Sci., 33, 51–66, 2008
53
in hamsters, osteogenic sarcoma, adenocarcinoma of
gall bladder and pancreas cancer in monkeys (22).
Antibodies to AFB1 have been reported in humans
and they are considered to be an indicator of
exposure (23). Besides, AFs cause increased levels of
tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a) and changes in
serum lactate dehydrogenase activity (24). AFs are
also suspected to cause Reye-like syndrome with
multiple symptoms. Moreover, AFs target kidney
and cause renal cortex changes (25).
AF exposure cause changes in oxidative phosphor-
ylation, which subsequently cause changes in the
structure of mitochondria (abnormal mitochondrial
structure, and elevation in mitochondrial enzymes)
(25-30). The changes in mitochondria are important in
aflatoxin-induced hepatocarcinogenesis as AFs pref-
erably attack mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) three to
four times higher than nuclear DNA (30). Aflatoxins
also cause mitochondria-directed apoptosis (31).
The “no observed adverse effect level (NOAEL)”
for AFB1 in male CD-1 mice, male BALB/c mice
and male C57B1/6 mice is found to be 30 µg/kg
b.w. and in male weanling rats it is 60 µg/kg b.w.
(32-34). In studies performed on Gambian children,
considering the impairment in host resistance to
infections, the NOAEL value was found to be 30 µg/
kg b.w. (35, 36). However, the European Food Safety
Authority (EFSA) panel on mycotoxins could not
establish a NOAEL as a point of departure for the
risk assessment (37).
AFM1 is the metabolite of AFB1 in milk of cattle fed
on contaminated foods. AFM1 may be present in
animal organs and tissues, e.g. kidneys, and in animal
products, e.g. milk, milk powder, cheese, butter and
other dairy products after consumption of AFB1-
contaminated feeds by animals (11). A tolerable daily
intake (TDI) of 0.2 ng/kg b.w. for AFM1 was calculated
by Kuiper-Goodman (38) and it has been categorized
by the IARC as a Group IIB, a possible human
carcinogen. In the assessment of carcinogenicity, the
infants are more exposed to the risk because the milk
is a major constituent of their diet. It must also be
considered that young animals have been found to
be more susceptible to AFB1 (and so probably AFM1)
than adults. Therefore, the presence of AFM1 in milk
and milk products is considered to be undesirable
(39-43). AFM1 is cytotoxic, as shown in human
hepatocytes in vitro and its acute toxicity in several
species is similar to that of AFB1. AFM1 can also
cause DNA damage, gene mutation, chromosomal
anomalies and cell transformation in mammalians
cells in vitro, in insects, lower eukaryotes and bacteria.
However, AFM1 is less mutagenic, and genotoxic
than AFB1 (44-47).
Ochratoxins
Ochratoxins A, B, and C are mycotoxins produced by
some Aspergillus species and Penicillium species, like
Aspergillus ochraceus or Penicilium viridicalum, with
OTA as the most prevalent and relevant fungal toxin
of this group. The mostly debated toxin of this group
of mycotoxins is OTA (48). OTA was discovered as
a metabolite of Aspergillus ochraceus in 1965 (48).
OTA is known to occur in commodities like cereals,
coffee, dried fruit and red wine. Besides, OTA is of
special interest as it can be accumulated in the meat
of animals. OTA-contaminated feed has its major
economic impact on the poultry industry. Chickens,
turkeys and ducklings are susceptible to this toxin.
OTA has been detected in blood and other animal
tissues and in milk, including human milk (49).
The biological effects of OTA are well documented.
IARC has classified OTA as a possible carcinogen
(Group 2B) (50). There have been reports on its
immuno-suppressive nature (51), teratogenicity
(52), reproductive toxicity (55), mutagenicity and
carcinogenicity (52, 56). OTA is a nephrotoxin to all
animal species studied to date and is most likely
toxic to humans, who have the longest half-life for its
elimination of any of the species examined (57). OTA
disturbs cellular physiology in multiple ways, but it
seems that the primary effects are associated with
the enzymes involved in phenylalanine metabolism,
mostly by inhibiting the enzyme involved in the
synthesis of the phenylalanine-tRNA complex
(58, 59). In addition, it inhibits mitochondrial ATP
production (58) and stimulates lipid peroxidation (61).
It has also been hypothesized that the heterozygous
gene pattern for phenylketonuria might occur in
relatively high frequency and it is an advantage in
Erkekoğlu, Şahin, Baydar
54
the ochratoxin poisoning (62) and that OTA might be
a risk factor for testicular cancer (63).
Exposure to OTAs through diet can cause acute
nephrotoxicity, and may be carcinogenic (55). Several
studies in literature have suggested a correlation
between exposure to OTA and Balkan endemic
nephropathy (BEN), a chronic tubulointerstitial
disease, found between 0.5 to 4.4 % (in some places as
high as 20%) in South-Eastern Europe (Serbia, Bosnia
and Herzegovina, Croatia, Romania, and Bulgaria).
More specifically, BEN is most likely to occur among
those living along the confluence of the Danube River,
a region in which the plains and low hills generally
have high humidity and rainfall. These conditions
seem to contribute to high occurrence of OTA in
food and feed. A high frequency of urothelial atypia,
occasionally culminating in tumors of the renal pelvis
and urethra, is associated with this disorder (56).
The most comprehensive studies on OTA toxicity in
rats have been performed within the US National
Toxicology Program (US-NTP) (63). The overall
NOAEL level derived from these studies was found
to be was 21 μg/kg b.w. per day for 5 days/week,
equivalent to 15 μg/kg b.w. per day (64, 65). On the
other hand, pigs were found to be more susceptible
to OTA toxicity and the NOAEL level in female pigs
was reported as 8 μg/kg b.w. per day. In consideration
of these findings, the EFSA Panel in year 2006 tried to
find the lowest observed adverse effect level (LOAEL)
and NOAEL for OTA in humans by applying a set of
uncertainty factors; however, these levels have not
yet been set for humans (66).
Patulin
Patulin is a mycotoxin produced by a variety of
molds, particularly Aspergillus and Penicillium. It is
commonly found in rotting apples, and the amount
of patulin in apple products is generally viewed
as a measure of the quality of the apples used in
production. It is not a particularly potent toxin, but
a number of studies have shown that it is genotoxic,
which has led to some theories stating that it may be
a carcinogen, though animal studies have remained
inconclusive. IARC has classified patulin as a Group
III carcinogen (a compound for which there is not
enough data to allow its classification) (67). Several
countries have instituted patulin restrictions in
apple products. The World Health Organization
(WHO) recommends a maximum concentration of 50
µg/L in apple juice (68).
The maximum provisional
tolerable daily intake (PTDI) of 0.43 μg/kg b.w./
day. NOAEL value in rats was found to be 0.3 mg/
kg b.w./day in rats (69). Several studies have been
conducted on patulintent of apple juices marketed in
Turkey. In a study performed by Gökmen and Acar,
the researchers found that throughout the years the
concentrations of patulin in apple juices decreased.
Percentages of concentrates exceeding the maximum
permitted concentration of 50 µg/L were 52%, 34%,
8% and 8% for 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999, respectively
(70). In another study performed by Yurdun et al., 40%
of the apple juice samples had patulin contamination
levels higher than 50 µg/L (71).
Fusarium Toxins
A variety of Fusarium fungi, which are common soil
fungi, produce a number of different mycotoxins of
the class of trichothecenes: T-2 toxin, HT-2 toxin, de-
oxynivalenol and nivalenol and some other toxins
zearalenone and fumonisins. The Fusarium fungi are
probably the most prevalent toxin-producing fungi
of the northern temperate regions and are commonly
found on cereals grown in the temperate regions of
America, Europe and Asia. Fusarium toxins have been
shown to cause a variety of toxic effects in both ex-
perimental animals and livestock. In some occasions,
toxins produced by Fusarium species have also been
suspected to have caused toxicity in humans (72).
a. Fumonisins
Fusarium verticillioides and the related Fusarium
proliferatum are the only fungi that produce
significant quantities of fumonisins. Fumonisins
occur in sorghum, asparagus, rice, beer and mung
beans infrequently (72). Conditions favoring
fumonisin production appear to include a period of
drought during the growing season with subsequent
cool, moist conditions during pollination and kernel
formation. Equine leukoencephalomalacia, caused
by high exposure to fumonisins, is a disease of the
central nervous system (CNS) that affects horses,
mules, and donkeys (73).
FABAD J. Pharm. Sci., 33, 51–66, 2008
55
Fumonisins are classified as Fumonisin B1,
Fumonisin B2 and Fumonisin B3 where Fumonisin
B1 is the most prevalent member and Fumonisin
B3 is relatively There is inadequate evidence in
humans for the carcinogenicity of fumonisins. There
is sufficient evidence in experimental animals for
the carcinogenicity of fumonisin B1. It is classified
as “possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group
IIB)” by IARC (74). Fumonosin B1 is hepatotoxic
and nephrotoxic in all animal species tested (68).
Fumonisin were not found to be genotoxic (72).
Concerning chronic exposure when liver toxicity is
taken as the end point, the NOAEL level is given as
0.6 mg/kg b.w./day for rats. When kidney toxicity is
the end point in rats, NOAEL level was given as 0.25
mg/kg b.w./day by US-NTP (75).
b. Trichothecenes
The trichothecenes constitute a family of more than sixty
sesquiterpenoid metabolites produced by a number
of fungal genera, including Fusarium, Myrothecium,
Phomopsis, Stachybotrys, Trichoderma, Trichothecium,
and others (76, 77). The term trichothecene is derived
from trichothecin, which was the one of the first
members of the family identified. They are commonly
found as food and feed contaminants (78-80). The
symptoms produced by various trichothecenes
include effects on almost every major system of the
vertebrate body; many of these effects are due to
secondary processes that are initiated by often poorly
understood metabolic mechanisms related to the
inhibition of protein synthesis (81). Of the naturally
occurring trichothecenes, T-2 and diacetoxyscirpenol
appear to be the most potent in animal studies. In
addition to their cytotoxic activity, they have an
immunosuppressive effect that results in decreased
resistance to infectious microbes (82, 83). They cause
a wide range of gastrointestinal, dermatological, and
neurologic symptoms (84). (DON and T-2 are the best
studied of the trichothecenes produced by Fusarium
species.
c. Deoxynivalenol
Deoxynivalenol (DON) is a common mycotoxin found
in grains. DON may have adverse health effects after
acute, short-term, or long-term administration. After
acute administration, deoxynivalenol produces two
characteristic toxicological effects: decrease in feed
consumption (anorexia) and emesis (vomiting) (78).
When ingested in high doses by agricultural animals, it
causes nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea; at lower doses,
pigs and other farm animals exhibit weight loss and
food refusal (83). For this reason, DON is sometimes
called vomitoxin or food refusal factor”. Although
less toxic than many other major trichothecenes, it is
the most prevalent and is commonly found in barley,
corn, rye, safflower seeds, wheat, and mixed feeds
(85). In 1993, IARC placed deoxynivalenol in Group
III, not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans
(86). The no-observed-effect level (NOEL) is 0.1 mg/
kg b.w./per day (85). On the other hand, NOAEL for
DON is found as100 μg/kg b.w./ per day (87).
d. T-2 Toxin
Among the naturally-occurring trichothecenes
found in food and feed, T-2 toxin is the most potent
and toxic mycotoxin. Corn, wheat, barley, oats, rice,
rye and other crops have been reported to contain
T-2 toxin (88). Toxin production is greatest with
moisture and temperatures and adequate storage
with low moisture and insect control will minimize
further fungal growth and T-2 toxin production
(89). The major effect of T-2 toxin and other
trichothecenes is that they inhibit protein synthesis
which is followed by a secondary disruption of DNA
and RNA synthesis. It affects the actively dividing
cells such as those lining the gastrointestinal tract,
skin, lymphoid and erythroid cells. It can decrease
antibody levels, immunoglobulins and certain other
humoral factors such as cytokines (90, 91). The
manifestations of disease include signs of weight
loss or poor weight gains, bloody diarrhea, dermal
necrosis or beak and mouth lesions, hemorrhage
and decreased production of milk and eggs.
Besides, it characteristically causes aleukia which is
an absence or extreme reduction in the number of
white blood cells in circulating blood (92, 93). No
effect (NOAEL) was observed in rats was found to
be 0.5 mg/kg b.w./day by Sirkka et al (1992) et al.
(94). On the other hand, for mice the NOAEL value
was found to be 0.23 mg/kg b.w/per day (1994).
The EFSA panel in 2001 after applying a set of
uncertainty factors set the NOAEL forT-2 toxin as
0.06 µg/kg b.w./day (95).
Erkekoğlu, Şahin, Baydar
56
e. Zearalenone
Zearalenone is also named as RAL, FES, Compound
F-2 or Toxin F2 and is a potent estrogenic metabo-
lite produced by some Giberella species. Zearalenone
is the primary toxin causing infertility, abortion or
other breeding problems, especially in swine (96-99).
Studies of the pharmacokinetics and metabolism of
zearalenone demonstrate that it is extensively me-
tabolized by intestinal tissue in pigs, and possibly in
humans, during its absorption, with the formation
of a- and β-zearalanol, which are subsequently con-
jugated with glucuronic acid. Zearalenone has been
tested for genotoxicity in a variety of test systems
and the results were negative, except for the induc-
tion of chromosomal aberrations after exposure of
mammalian cells in vitro to very high concentrations.
Hepatocellular adenomas and pituitary tumors were
observed in studies of long-term toxicity and carcino-
genicity in mice, but only at doses greatly in excess of
the concentrations that have hormonal effects, i.e. at
8-9 mg/kg b.w./per day or more. These tumors were
a consequence of the estrogenic effects of zearalenone
(96-99). The NOAEL value of zearalenone was given
as 4 mg/kg/per day in rats (100).
Regulations for Mycotoxins in Food
Risk Assessment for Mycotoxins and Worldwide
Mycotoxin Regulations
The number of countries regulating mycotoxins has
increased significantly over the years. Regulations
have become more diverse and detailed with newer
requirements with regard to official procedures for
sampling and analytical methodology (101). At least
99 countries had mycotoxin regulations for food
and/or feed in 2003, an increase of approximately
30% compared with 1995. All countries with
mycotoxin regulations in 2003 had regulatory limits
for at least AFB1 or the sum of AFB1, B2, G1, and
G2 in food and/or feed. Specific regulations also
exist for several other mycotoxins such as AFM1; the
trichothecenes DON, diacetoxyscirpenol, T-2 toxin
and HT-2 toxin; the fumonisins B
1
, B
2
, and B
3
; agaric
acid; the ergot alkaloids; OTA; patulin; phomopsins;
sterigmatocystin, and zearalenone. Most of the limits
are set for human foods. Typically higher regulatory
levels are used for animal feed (101).
Risks associated with mycotoxins depend on both
hazard and exposure. Exposure throughout the
world is at different levels, because of different levels
of contamination and dietary habits in the various
parts of the world. Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) action levels for total AFs in food and feed are
presented in Table 1. European Union regulations for
AFs for human food and feed are presented in Table
2. EU regulations for OTs are showed in Table 3.
Mycotoxin Studies in Baby Foods and Infant
Formulas
There are several studies in literature on the levels
of several mycotoxins in infant formulas and baby
foods. These studies are largely based on AFs and
OTA and only few of them consider exposure to
other mycotoxins through baby foods.
In a study performed in Czechoslovakia using
enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)
technique, AFM1 was measured in 376 samples of
raw milk from farms in the area of a new dairy plant
producing milk baby foods. 87.8 % of the samples
contained no AFM1 (detection limit 0.025 mg/L) and
only 2 samples (0.5 %) possessed higher concentration
Table 1. FDA action levels for total aflatoxins in food and feed
Commodity AF (μg/kg)
All products, except milk, designated for humans 20
All other feedstuffs 20
Peanuts and Peanut products 20
Pistachio nuts 20
Milk 0.5 (for AFM1)
Foods 20
FABAD J. Pharm. Sci., 33, 51–66, 2008
57
than 0.1 mg/L, which represents the tolerance limit
for AFM1 in baby milk foods admitted in the country
(102). In another study performed in São Paulo,
Brazil AFM1 was surveyed in 300 samples of whole
milk powder consumed by infants at municipal
schools and nurseries. The analyses were performed
by ELISA. Results showed 11 % of the samples were
positive for AFM1 at levels of 0.10-1.00 ng/ml (mean:
0.27 ± 0.20 ng/ml) (103). In a study performed in
Turkey, the risk of exposure to aflatoxin in infants
fed by breast milk and formula was investigated. For
this purpose, AFB1 was determined in the serum of
both breast-fed and formula-fed infants. Serum AFB1
availability was significantly higher in the formula-
feeding (F) group than the breast-feeding (B) group
(42.8 vs 8.5 %). The AFB1 concentration in different
commercial formulas was also determined. AFB1 was
found in seven of the eight newly opened packages
of different brands of formula. The concentrations
showed a statistically significant increase at the 30
th
day after the opening of the packages. It was again
concluded that for infants, human milk was safer
than commercial formulas because of the lower
contamination risk of AF (104).
In an Italian study performed during 1995, 159
samples of milk, 97 samples of dry milk for
infant formula, and 114 samples of yogurt were
randomly collected in supermarkets and drug
stores in four large Italian cities and checked
for AFM1 by immunoaffinity column extraction
and high performance liquid chromatography
(HPLC). AFM1 was detected in 136 (86 %) of the
milk samples (in amounts ranging from <1 ng/L to
108.5 ng/L; mean level: 10.19 ng/L), in 81 (84 %) of
the dry milk samples (in amounts ranging from <1-
101.3 ng/kg; mean level: 21.77 ng/kg), and in 91 (80
%) of the yogurt samples (in amounts ranging from
<1 ng/L to 496.5 ng/L; mean level: 18.08 ng/L).
Altogether, only two samples of milk, two samples
of yogurt, and one sample of dry milk had levels
of AFM1 exceeding the Swiss legal limits, which
are the most restrictive limits in the world. AFM1
contamination levels in milk and yogurt samples
collected in the period of November to April were
four times as high as those in samples collected
in the period of May to October (105). In another
study performed by the same working group in
year 1996, 161 samples of milk, 92 samples of dry
milk for infant formula and 120 samples of yoghurt,
were randomly collected in supermarkets and drug
stores in four big Italian cities, and checked for
AFM1 by HPLC. AFM1 was detected in 125 (78 %)
of milk samples (ranging from < 1-23.5 ng/L; mean
Table 2. EU regulations for aflatoxins
Human food
AFB1
(μg/kg)
AFB1, B2, B3, B4
(μg/kg)
AFM1
(μg/kg)
Groundnuts, dried fruit and processed products thereof 2 4
Groundnuts subjected to sorting or phys. treating 8 15
As above but for nuts and dried fruits 5 10
Cereals (including maize) and processed products thereof 2 4
Milk 0.05
Table 3. EU regulations for ochratoxin.
Product OTA (μg/kg)
Raw cereal grains 5
All products derived from cereals intended for direct human consumption 3
Dried vine fruit (currants, raisins and sultanas) 10
Baby food 0.5
Erkekoğlu, Şahin, Baydar
58
level: 6.28 ng/L), in 49 (53 %) of dry milk samples
(ranging from <1-79.6 ng/kg; mean level: 32.2 ng/
kg) and in 73 (61 %) of yoghurt samples (ranging
from <1-32.1 ng/kg; mean level: 9.06 ng/kg). In
both of the studies, evaluating all of the samples
analyzed, the researchers concluded that during
1996, despite the widespread occurrence of AFM1,
mean contamination levels in dairy products sold
in Italy were not a serious human health hazard
(105).
In a Korean study, the occurrence of AFM1
in pasteurized milk and dairy products was
investigated by ELISA and HPLC. Among a total
of 180 samples collected the incidence of AFM1 in
pasteurized milk, infant formula, powdered milk
and yoghurt was 76, 85, 75, and 83 %, respectively,
with a mean concentration of 18, 46, 200, and 29
pg/g, respectively (106). In another study performed
in Kuwait, as a part of the program on monitoring
of environmental contaminants in food stuff in the
country, 54 samples of fresh full cream and skimmed
milk, powdered milk, yoghurt, and infant formulae
were analyzed for AFM1 by HPLC. Of the samples
analyzed, 28 % were contaminated with AFM1 with
6 % being above the maximum permitted limit of 0.2
mg/L (107).
A survey of AFs, OTA and patulin in a variety of
foods for infants and young children was carried out
by the Food Standards Agency between November
2003 and April 2004 in the U.K. Total 199 foods,
including breakfast/rusk products, baby rice,
savory products and desert/cereal bar/biscuits
were sampled. Of these, 169 were analyzed for AFs
and OTA. A further 14 products were analyzed for
patulin as well and 16 products, including apple-
based drinks and apple fruit products, were tested
for patulin only, as patulin is much more likely
to occur in these products compared with the
other mycotoxins studied. Mycotoxins were not
detectable in 90 % of the products analyzed. In
those samples where mycotoxins were detectable,
levels were very low and regulatory limits were
not exceeded in any of them. Data from the survey
were used to assess the exposure of infants to
mycotoxins and these do not raise a concern for
infant health (108). There are also several studies
performed on apple-based baby foods. In a study
performed in Tunisia, the researchers did not find
any patulin contamination in 21 infant fruit purees
(109). In an Italian study, of 10 apple-based baby
foods, two samples were contaminated with 17.7
and 13.1 mg/L and both were labeled as “organic
food (110). In another study performed in Italy,
patulin was detected (<1 µg/kg) in only 3 of the
23 fruity baby food samples tested (homogenized
fruits, 11 conventional and 12 organic) (111).
In a survey performed in Canada on breakfast and
infant cereals for AFs B1, B2, G1 and G2, 349 breakfast
and infant cereal samples (rice-, soy-, barley-based
and mixed-grain infant cereals, corn-, wheat-, and
rice-based and mixed-grain breakfast cereals) were
collected at retail level across the country from 2002
to 2005. Results showed that 50 % of both breakfast
and infant cereals had detectable levels (limit of
detection = 0.002 ng/g) of AFB1. The levels found
varied from 0.002 to 1.00 ng/g for AFB1, from 0.002
to 0.14 ng/g for AFB2, from 0.008 to 0.27 ng/g for
AFG1, and from 0.008 to 0.048 ng/g for AFG2. Only
4 % of the breakfast cereals and 1 % of the infant
cereals had AFB1 levels exceeding 0.1 ng/g, which
is the European Union maximum limit for AFB1
in baby foods and processed cereal-based foods
for infants and young children (112). In another
Canadian study demonstrated on three hundred and
sixty-three samples of cereal-based infant foods, soy-
based cereals (which usually contain corn) exhibited
the highest incidences of deoxynivalenol (100%),
zearalenone (46%) and fumonisins (75%). Overall,
deoxynivalenol was the most frequently detected
mycotoxin--it was detected in 63% of samples
analyzed (113).
In another study performed in Russia, OTA content
in baby foods was determined. The analysis was
performed by immunoaffinity column clean-up and
HPLC. OTA was detected in 22.5 % of 40 samples
up to 1.2 mg/kg. Mean level was 0.15 and 0.31 mg/
kg. OTA level was higher in oat-based samples.
Calculations made on the basis of the obtained means
showed that the daily OTA dietary intake were up to
1.72 ng/kg. b.w. (114).
FABAD J. Pharm. Sci., 33, 51–66, 2008
59
Mycotoxin Studies in Baby Foods Performed in
Turkey
In a study conducted by Baydar et al., 63 infant
formulae, follow on formulae and baby foods
were randomly collected from pharmacies and
supermarkets in Ankara, Turkey. AFB1, AFM1, and
OTA levels were assessed by ELISA. AFB1, AFM1and
OTA levels were found in 87, 36.5 and 40 % of the
samples between 0.10-6.04 ppb, 0.06-0.32 ppb and
0.27-4.50 ppb, respectively (115). Another study
performed in Turkey on 24 cereal-based baby foods
using immunoaffinity column (IAC) clean-up and
HPLC determined that OTA was present in 17% of
cereal-based baby food samples. OTA levels ranged
from 0.122 to 0.374 ng/ml and the levels were much
lower below the limit recommended by European
Commission Regulation (116).
Recently, Gürbay et al. have indicated OTA levels in 75
Turkish mother breast milk samples ranging from 0.62
to 13 ng/L (117). Besides, the same group performed
another study to determine the levels of AFB1 and
AFM1 in breast milk. The level of AFM1 were in the
ranges of 60.90-299.99 ng/L, and AFB1 were in the
ranges of 94.50-4123.80 ng/L (118). Since there is no
limit value for AFM
1
and AFB
1
in mother’s breast
milk neither in Turkey nor European Union, making
a comparison of these results with limit values could
not be possible. However, when limit value of AFM
1
for animal milk (50 ng/l) accepted by Turkey and
European Union is considered, it has been shown that
all samples analyzed, contained AF M
1
above this limit.
Moreover, as there is not any limit for AFB
1
concerning
animal milk, it is not feasible to compare these
results of AFB
1
. On the other hand, The Joint FAO/
WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JEFCA)
does not establish a tolerable daily intake (TDI) for
aflatoxins, but strongly recommends that the level of
aflatoxin should be as low as possible (119). As a result,
the authors concluded that breast milk AFM
1
and B
1
levels determined in this study should be considered
seriously high and detrimental to human health.
Another study performed on human breast milk
and row cow’s milk using ELISA and HPLC,
demonstrated that AFM1 was present in 8 (13.1%) of
61 human breast milk samples examined (5.68±0.62
ng/L; ranged between 5.10- 6.90 ng/L) and 20 (33.3%)
of 60 raw cow’s milk samples (ranged between 5.40
-300.20 ng/L). Five (8.3%) of the positive raw cow’s
milk samples had AFM1 levels (153.52 ±100.60 ng/L;
ranged between 61.20-300.20 ng/L). The levels
in these samples were higher than the maximum
tolerance limit (0.05 ppb) stipulated by regulations in
Turkey and some other countries (120).
Regulations in Turkey
For baby foods and infant formulas, the
permissible levels for total aatoxin contamination
(AFB1+B2+G1+G2) is 2 ppb as indicated in
“Announcement for Aatoxin Control” by Turkish
Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Affairs,
published in Turkish Republic Ofcial Paper on
May 2, 1990 (121). Turkish Ministry of Agriculture
and Rural Affairs set different limits for different
food stuff in 2002 and published “The Regulation
Stating a Change in the Regulation of the Turkish
Food Codex” in Turkish Republic Ofcial Paper No
24885, September 23, 2002. These regulations set by
Turkish Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs are
summarized in Table 4.
Is The Mycotoxin Contamination In Baby Foods
A Treat?
The reaction of infants and young children differ from
that of adults against many drugs and toxins and, in
most cases, they are more susceptible. Furthermore,
infants and young children eat and drink more
relative to their size than adults. The fact that most
mycotoxins are toxic in very low concentrations and
they can be present in infant formulas and baby foods
as a result of contamination or bad storage, there is
the need for exible, reliable, accurate, inexpensive,
rapid and reproducible methods for detection and
quantication. Due to the varied structures of these
compounds, it is not possible to use one standard
technique to detect all mycotoxins, as each will
require a different method. What works well for
some molecules could be inappropriate for others
of similar properties or for the same molecule in a
different environment/matrix. As baby foods and
infant formulas have complex matrices, practical
requirements for high-sensitivity detection and
the need for a specialist laboratory setting create
Erkekoğlu, Şahin, Baydar
60
challenges for routine analysis. Therefore, depending
on the physical and chemical properties, procedures
have been developed around existing analytical
techniques, which offer exible and broad-based
methods of detecting compounds. Among other
methods, analytical liquid chromatography linked
with mass spectroscopy is gaining popularity (122).
WHO recommends exclusive breast-feeding for the
first six months of life. Breast milk remains the best
source of nutrition for infants, and mothers need to
be motivated to continue with it as long as possible.
However, when breast-feeding is not possible or
enough, many different infant formulae and baby
foods are available for infants and young children.
Preparing or buying safe and proper food for infants
and young children is essential for the health of the
child. Although the qualities of these products are
strictly regulated, contamination is inevitable. Most
mycotoxins are chemically stable so they tend to
survive in storage and processing, even when cooked
at quite high temperatures such as those reached
during bread baking or breakfast cereal production.
This makes it important to avoid the conditions
that lead to mycotoxin formation. Mycotoxins are
notoriously difficult to remove and the best method
of control is prevention (123).
Mycotoxin contamination is a very important issue as
the possible outcomes in the exposure to these toxins
may be the cause of serious problems experienced
in the rst years or later periods of life such as poor
growth, suppressed immune system, and cancer. An
accurate prediction of the possible health impact of
individual mycotoxins in foods for the vulnerable
group is difcult; possible additive and synergistic
effects of multiple mycotoxins make the task even
more complex and the long-term effects are beyond
foresight. Therefore, infant foods must be routinely
tested for the mycotoxins presence at every step of
manufacturing and marketing (116).Therefore, strict
law enforcement is required in each step of the
production of infant formulas/baby foods and the
public consciousness must be provided for the risks
Table 4. Maximum permissible levels for mycotoxins in Turkey.
Product
Total Aatoxin
(B1+B2+G1+G2)
(ppb)
AFM1
(ppb)
AFB1
(ppb)
OTA
(ppb)
Baby foods/infant formula (milk based) - 0.05 - -
Baby foods/infant formula 2 - 1 -
Spice 10 - 5 -
Milk 0.5 0.05 - -
Milk powder - 0.5 - -
Cheese - 0.25 - -
Agricultural products 20 - - -
Animal feed 50 - - -
Other foodstuff 10 - 5 -
Nuts, ground nuts and dried oily fruits, oily seeds,
dried fruits including g and grape, foodstuff prepared
from the procession of these
10 - 5 -
Cereals (including black wheat Fagopyrum) and all
products prepared using cereal
4 2 3
Processed cereal seproducts - - - 5
Dried grape - - - 10
Apple juice, fruit juices including apple juice, vinegars - - - 50
FABAD J. Pharm. Sci., 33, 51–66, 2008
61
of mycotoxins. Parents should be well-informed for
the right choice and for the use of the product they
bought (how to preserve, how to prepare etc) and
governments should pursuit the production of each
food produced for children.
Conclusion
It can be suggested that manufacturers of foods for
infants and young children should give an extreme
importance to mycotoxin content. The manufacturers,
pediatrician, health-care personnel and parents
should be provided with enough information
and training to minimize health hazards and to
form the public policies. In order to protect public
health, it is essential to keep contaminants at levels
toxicologically acceptable. Ultimately, surveillance
should be continuous, widespread and must be
conducted by the government and related ministries
as the quality of the end product depend on the
precise controlling at every step of the production
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... Detection of mycotoxins in children's nutrition is extremely important because mycotoxins have teratogenic, mutagenic, and oncogenic effects; reduce immunity; and weaken the child's overall health (Barug, 2006;Erkekoğlu et al., 2008;Peraica et al., 1999;Pestka, 1994;Pestka et al., 2004;Schatzmayr & Streit, 2013;Van Egmond et al., 2007). Owing to the high risk of disease caused by mycotoxin contamination (Erkekoğlu et al., 2008), the legislative regulations specify extremely low limits for mycotoxins in baby food. ...
... Detection of mycotoxins in children's nutrition is extremely important because mycotoxins have teratogenic, mutagenic, and oncogenic effects; reduce immunity; and weaken the child's overall health (Barug, 2006;Erkekoğlu et al., 2008;Peraica et al., 1999;Pestka, 1994;Pestka et al., 2004;Schatzmayr & Streit, 2013;Van Egmond et al., 2007). Owing to the high risk of disease caused by mycotoxin contamination (Erkekoğlu et al., 2008), the legislative regulations specify extremely low limits for mycotoxins in baby food. For example, according to the Recommendations of the European Commission 2007/1126/EU, the maximum permissible levels for zearalenone (ZEA) and aflatoxin B1 in baby food are 20 ng/g and 100 pg/g, respectively. ...
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Maximum permissible levels of mycotoxins in baby food may be 1% of those in ordinary food. Therefore, highly sensitive methods of mycotoxin control are in demand. To detect such low amounts, expensive instrumental methods are commonly used. Advantages of immunochromatographic analyses are their low cost and simple sample preparation; however, their sensitivity needs to be increased to contend with instrumental methods. A scheme for competitive immunochromatography with indirect labelling was implemented and developed for the detection of mycotoxin zearalenone (ZEA). Two separate reagents were used for the assay, namely free specific antibodies and antispecies antibodies conjugated with gold nanoparticles. This made it possible to simultaneously increase the sensitivity of the assay and the reliability of measurements. The instrumental detection limit of ZEA in baby food was 5 pg/mL (100 pg/g). Thus, the sensitivity attained is comparable with liquid chromatography characteristics. The duration of the analysis was 17 min.
... At present, more than 400 mycotoxins have been identified, most of which are produced by the filamentous fungi, Fusarium, Penicillium and Aspergillus [1], and mainly including aflatoxin, ochratoxin, gibberellin, patulin and deoxynivalenol [2]. Mycotoxins are considered to be a leading pollutant in many plant-derived products [3], including grains, nuts, fruits, vegetables and even animal feed, which further contaminates animal-derived products such as meat, egg and milk [4,5]. After entering the body, mycotoxins can cause serious adverse consequences for both humans and animals, such as carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, teratogenesis and immunosuppression [6], and induce complications in the central nervous, lung, liver, digestive and cardiovascular systems [7]. ...
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A novel porous carbon adsorbent for the removal of deoxynivalenol was prepared from soybean dreg (SD). The new material was characterized by scanning electron microscopy equipped with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) analysis, N2 adsorption/desorption measurement techniques, X-ray diffraction (XRD), Raman spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The specific surface area of the SDB-6-KOH was found to be 3655.95 m2 g−1, the pore volume was 1.936 cm3 g−1 and the average pore size was 2.125 nm. The high specific surface area and effective functional groups of the carbon material promoted the adsorption of deoxynivalenol. By comparing the adsorption effect of SDB-6-X prepared with different activators (X: KOH, K2CO3, KHCO3), SDB-6-KOH had the highest adsorption capacity. The maximum adsorption capacity of SDB-6-KOH to deoxynivalenol was 52.9877 µg mg−1, and the removal efficiency reached 88.31% at 318 K. The adsorption kinetic and isotherm data were suitable for pseudo-second-order and Langmuir equations, and the results of this study show that the novel carbon material has excellent adsorptive ability and, thus, offers effective practical application potential for the removal of deoxynivalenol.
... Toksisite: Avrupa Birliği'ne göre; üretim ve saklanması sırasında kahve çekirdeğinde oluşan bir mikotoksin olan Okratoksin A (fungus) seviyesi maksimum 5-10 ppb/ ya da 10-20ng/g olmalıdır (Poltronieri et al., 2016;Ayaz et al., 2008;Erkekoğlu et al., 2008). ...
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... When addressing mycotoxins, there is an aggravation, since their removal from food is very difficult. The most effective way of prevention is to control the growth of fungi in food (Erkekoglu et al., 2008). Therefore, in the preparation of formulas for infants, a strict control is necessary using quality raw materials (Mahdavi et al., 2010). ...
... To date, many international agencies have implemented universal standardization of regulatory limits for mycotoxins (Table 02). Special emphasis has been drawn to mycotoxin contamination of baby foods as infants are more susceptible to the effects of these toxins [19]. Total 30 All M1 1 Infant foods B1, B2, G1 30 Groundnuts, cereals, floor and oil and G2 seeds ...
... The capacity for biotransformation of toxins in infants is generally slower than that in adults, which may result in a longer circulation time of the toxin, and then neonatal growth retardation [11]. Obviously, infants are the most susceptible population to the deleterious effects of AFM1 [12]. Most countries have set maximum permissible levels for AFM1 in raw milk and milk products. ...
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This survey was performed to investigate the occurrence of aflatoxin M1 (AFM1) contamination of raw milk from manufacturers of infant milk powder in China. A total of 1207 raw milk samples were collected overall from four seasons of 2016 in Northeast China, Northwest China, Northern China, and Central China (11 provinces and one municipality). Results showed that 56 of the 1207 raw milk samples (4.64%) were positive for AFM1, which were obtained from Heilongjiang (two samples), Gansu (one sample), Shaanxi (46 samples), Beijing (one sample), and Hunan (six samples) provinces. None of the raw milk samples from manufacturers of infant milk powder exceeded the Chinese limit (62.5 ng/L) in 2016. Only a few raw milk samples were not suitable for use in infant milk according to EU (European Union) or U.S. infant milk limits. Furthermore, based on this survey and previous studies, it is particularly important to avoid AFM1 contamination in raw milk during the winter.
Chapter
The incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has been rising in the Middle East. Liver cancer is a major concern, particularly in Egypt. Although hepatitis infections are suggested to be the main causes of HCC, environmental exposures also contribute to high morbidity and mortality rates of this disease. Aflatoxins are one of the main causes of HCC. Aflatoxin B1 is classified as a “human carcinogen,” and it can contribute to the increasing incidence of HCC in the Middle East countries. In hepatitis patients, aflatoxin exposure is a major risk factor for primary liver cancers. Alcohol consumption and smoking can also lead to HCC. Moreover, exposure to arsenic and certain chemicals, particularly to vinyl chloride, may also be an underlying factor for HCC. This chapter will focus on environmental carcinogenesis in the Middle East, their mechanism of action, and studies performed in Middle East on aflatoxins, alcohol, smoking, arsenic, and vinyl chloride.
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Aflatoxin M1 (AFM1) is a 4-hydroxylated metabolite of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1). It induces various toxicological effects including immunotoxicity. In the present study, we investigated the effects of AFM1 on immune system and its modulation by MicroRNA (miR)-155. AFM1 was administered intraperitoneally at doses of 25 and 50 µg/kg for 28 days to Balb/c mice and different immune system parameters were analyzed. The levels of miR-155 and targeted proteins were evaluated in isolated T cells from spleens of mice. Spleen weight was reduced in mice exposed to AFM1 compared to negative control. Proliferation of splenocytes in response to phytohemagglutinin-A was reduced in mice exposed to AFM1. IFN-γ was decreased in mice exposed to AFM1, whereas IL-10 was increased. Concentration of IL-4 did not change different in mice exposed to AFM1 compared to negative control. Exposure to AFM1 reduced the expression of miR-155. Significant upregulation of phosphatidylinositol-3, 4, 5-trisphosphate 5-phosphatase 1 (Ship1) and suppressor of cytokine signaling 1 (Socs1) was observed in isolated T cells from spleens of mice treated with AFM1, but the transcription factor Maf (c-MAF) was not affected. These results suggest that miR-155 and targeted proteins might be involved in the immunotoxicity observed in mice exposed to AFM1.
Article
BACKGROUND Although, to date, there have been several in vitro and in vivo studies of immunomodulatory effects of AFB1, little is known about the effect of AFM1 on various aspects of innate and acquired immunity. In this study, AFM1 was administered intraperitoneally, at doses of 25 and 50 μg kg ‐1, body mass for 28 days and various immunological parameters were measured. RESULTS Several parameters related to immune function were suppressed: organ mass, cellularity of spleen, proliferation response to LPS and PHA, hemagglutination titer, delayed type of hypersensitivity response, spleen cell subtypes, CH50, serum IgG level and cytokine production. AFM1 did not cause changes in body mass, hematological parameters, and concentration of IgM in blood serum. CONCLUSIONS Overall, the data suggested that AFM1 suppressed innate and acquired immunity. Therefore, in order to consumer safety, it is extremely important to further control the level of AFM1 in milk, and this should be considered as a precedence for risk management actions. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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Peanut-enriched flour is a common weaning food for infants in Tanzania because of its high protein content. Studies have revealed that peanuts in Tanzania are often contaminated with aflatoxin in ranges from 10.3 to 40.3 μg/kg (the maximum acceptable level = 10 μg/kg for total aflatoxins). The objective of this study was to determine the level of aflatoxins in peanut-enriched flours from selected markets in Tanzania. Peanut-enriched flour samples (n = 65, 17 manufacturers) from six regions of Tanzania (Arusha, Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, Iringa, Kilimanjaro, and Morogoro) were collected and analyzed for aflatoxin B1, B2, G1, G2, and total aflatoxin using reverse-phase High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) and post-column derivatization. Aflatoxins B1, B2, G1, and G2 were present in all samples from all regions and from all manufacturers, though levels were significantly higher in samples from Arusha than from other regions (p < 0.05). Seventy-one percent (71%) of samples had total aflatoxins above the acceptable levels of 10 μg/kg. Mean values of Aflatoxin B1, B2, G1, G2, and total aflatoxin levels were not affected (p < 0.05) by type of packaging material. Manufacturers and consumers need education about the sources and effects of aflatoxins and how to prevent aflatoxin contamination.
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Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), aflatoxin M1 (AFM1), and ochratoxin A (OTA) that may lead to severe problems in children's health were evaluated in commonly consumed various types of baby foods. In the present study, 63 infant formulae, follow on formulae and baby foods were randomly collected from pharmacies and supermarkets in Ankara, Turkey. AFB1, AFM1, and OTA levels were assessed by commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kits. AFB1, AFM1 and OTA levels were found in 87, 36.5 and 40% of the samples between 0.10-6.04 ppb, 0.06-0.32 ppb and 0.27-4.50 ppb, respectively. We suggest that mycotoxin contamination should be routinely monitored in foods for babies in order to reduce food-borne hazards in infants and young children.
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A 2-year study was conducted to determine the efficacy of different applications of a nontoxigenic strain of Aspergillus flavus for reducing aflatoxin contamination in corn. Treatments consisted of the nontoxigenic strain in the form of (i) conidia-coated hulled barley applied to soil when corn was about 0.8 m tall, (ii) conidia-coated hulled barley applied in plant whorls prior to tasseling, (iii) multiple applications of a spray formulation of conidia during silking, and (iv) untreated control. Treatments were replicated eight times in individual plots consisting of four rows of 18 m each. In year 1, no significant differences were associated with treatments for aflatoxin, total A. flavus colonization, or incidence of nontoxigenic isolates of A. flavus in corn, which were all relatively high, ranging from 83.8 to 93.1%. In year 2, the whorl application produced a significantly lower mean aflatoxin concentration of 49.5 ppb compared with all other treatments, while both the soil (108.3 ppb) and spray applications (173.7 ppb) were significantly reduced compared with the control (191.6 ppb). The whorl application was the only treatment that had a significantly higher incidence (86.5%) of nontoxigenic isolates of A. flavus than the control had, which was still relatively high at 69.1%. Data indicated that applications of the nontoxigenic strain influenced untreated corn, thus reducing the apparent effect of the biocontrol treatments. Larger-scale studies with greater separation between treated and untreated fields are warranted.
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Mycotoxins are toxic fungal secondary metabolites that cause diseases—called mycotoxicoses—in humans and animals. Of the numerous toxic metabolites, the best known belong to the family of aflatoxins. This paper describes mycotoxins and mycotoxicoses and discusses how they affect our food and feed supply and human and animal health.
Article
Zusammenfassung Eine einfache Methode zur Herstellung relativ hoher Ochratoxin-A-Mengen wird beschrieben, sowie eine vereinfachte Methode zur Isolierung und Reinigung dieses Mykotoxins.
Article
Ochratoxin A (OTA) produced by Aspergillus and Penicillium genera contaminates a diversity of foods in the normal diet, including cereals and cereal-made foods, dned fruits, beans, cocoa, coffee, beer, wine (red essentially) and foodstuffs of animal ongin mainly poultry eggs, pork and milk including human breast milk. OTA is nephrotoxic to all animal species studied so far and most likely to humans. who show the longest half-life time for elimination of this toxin among all species examined. Among other toxic effects OTA IS teratogenic, immunotoxic, genotoxic, mutagenic and carcinogenic, all of which lead to life-threatening pathologies. Thus. OTA acts through several molecular pathways leading to different chronic toxic lesions To assess OTA in human blood, the immunoaffinity column and ELISA techniques have recently been emerging along with HPLC for separation and fluorimetnc quantification. They should be followed by confirmation with one or two derivatives of OTA which have a profile shift on the chromatogram. For a complete diagnosis of human ochratoxicosis it is necessary to identify the origin of the toxin to relate its presence in human blood with at least a pathology one can cure or prevent. This is still a very difficult task. since humans may be exposed to several toxins simultaneously with synergistic or antagonistic effects. Also, conditions of exposure can vary from place to place or individual to individual whether the route of administration is via digestive tract or the respiratory system. This difficult situation is somehow worse in developing countries, where in the early eighties several groups initiated investigations on the prevalence of OTA in human blood, followed by or directly combined with a food survey for OTA in commodities. Interestingly, OTA is found In human blood everywhere. However, the prevalence is different, as well as the OTA blood levels, due to the diversity of health and economic situations, and to preventive measures that have been implemented. Important factors affecting body burdens and pathologies include the quality of the diet in providing antioxidants, vitamins, and amino acids, such as phenylalanine in the sweetener Aspartame. To clarify the situation with human ochratoxicosis several studies and reports will be presented and discussed.