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  • 1 Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Szeged H-6701 Szeged, P.O. Box 533. Hungary
  • 2 Research Institute for Animal Breeding and Nutrition H-2053 Herceghalom, Gesztenyés út 1. Hungary
  • 3 Regional wine consultant H-8313 Balatongyörök. Hungary
  • 4 Animal Health and Food Control Station H-6701 Szeged, P.O. Box 446. Hungary
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Ochratoxin A is a mycotoxin produced by Aspergillus and Penicillium species. This mycotoxin is a common contaminant of various food products including cereal products, spices, dried fruits, coffee, beer and wine. Besides cereal products, beer and wine contribute significantly to ochratoxin exposure of humans. We examined the ochratoxin content of Hungarian wines and beers using an immunochemical technique. The detection limit of this technique is 0.01mg l-1. Altogether 65 wine and 25 beer samples were analysed. The presence of ochratoxin A was confirmed by HPLC in positive samples. Ochratoxin A was detected in 97.7% of wines, with ochratoxin concentrations ranging from 0 to 0.533mg l-1. The mean ochratoxin A concentration in wines was 0.110mg l-1. Only one of the Hungarian wines examined contained more than 0.5mg l-1ochratoxin A, the previously suggested EU limit for wine. Our data indicate that red wines are more frequently contaminated, and have higher mean ochratoxin contamination (0.117mg ml-1) than white wines (0.0967mg ml-1), in accordance with previous observations. A North-South gradient in wine ochratoxin concentrations is not evident from our data. For beers, all but one of the samples was found to be contaminated with small amounts of ochratoxin A with a mean concentration of 0.127mg l-1(range: 0.030-0.250mg l-1). Only one of the beers contained ochratoxin A above 0.2mg l-1, the anticipated European Community maximum allowable limit in beer. We could not detect correlation between the type and origin of beer and ochratoxin contamination.

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