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Acta Alimentaria
Authors: V. Szente, O. Szigeti, Zs. Polereczki, Á. Varga and Z. Szakály

In Hungary, organic food market has both demand and supply oriented aspects: several times not necessary products are distributed, while the selection and volume of certain products are not satisfactory. Thus, our aim was to develop a coordinated benchmark strategy to increase the trade of organic products. To get more details on the Hungarian organic milk market, we conducted professional deep interviews and simultaneously applied the “mystery shopping” method. Nowadays, the market of organic milk and dairy products is slowly increasing in Hungary, however, there is no available statistical data. In the selection there are mostly Hungarian originated products, but some yoghurt, milk, and butter assortments are imported. Partial responsibility belongs to small sale shops’ habit of risk-avoidance. Without a proper selection of products, stores are unable to satisfy consumers’ needs; thus they focus on pushing certain products to increase demand. According to our results, ‘low price category’, ‘local/regional product’, and ‘prestige product’ strategies with attached in-store marketing elements are able to reverse the effects of an unfavourable marketing process.

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Ochratoxin A is a mycotoxin produced by Aspergillus and Penicillium species. This mycotoxin is a common contaminant of various foods including cereal products, spices, dried fruits, coffee, beer and wine. Besides cereal products, goods of grape origin contribute significantly to ochratoxin exposure of humans. The ochratoxin content and mycobiota of raisins purchased in Hungarian outlets were examined in this study. Ochratoxin A content was examined by an immunochemical technique, and the results were confirmed by HPLC analysis using fluorescent detection. Altogether 20 raisin samples were analyzed. Ochratoxin A was detected in all but two samples with ochratoxin concentrations ranging from 0 to 6.2 mg kg-1. The most heavily contaminated raisin sample came from Iran. However, none of the raisins contained ochratoxin A above 10 mg kg-1, the European Community maximum allowable limit in raisins. The mycobiota of raisin samples was also examined to clarify which species could be responsible for ochratoxin A contamination. All except three raisin samples were contaminated with black aspergilli, some of which produced ochratoxin A. Besides A. carbonarius, ochratoxin producing A. tubingensis isolates dominated in the samples.

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Thirty-three varieties of dairy products were analysed for fat and cholesterol contents, and a high correlation (r=0.983) was found between these two compositional attributes. Cholesterol concentration was independent of processing factors such as heat-treatment of the raw material, use of starter culture, type of the starter organisms employed and whipping or flavouring of the product. The non-fat varieties of fluid, fermented and dried milks showed significantly increased cholesterol-to-fat ratios compared to the other products tested because they contained considerable amounts of small fat globules and, therefore, had a large surface area with cholesterol bound to the fat globule membranes. The results of this study may be useful when establishing dietary guidelines for the general public according to health concerns, when formulating diets for population groups with special requirements or when assessing fat and cholesterol intakes in epidemiological studies aimed at investigating the relationship between diet and health.

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Acta Alimentaria
Authors: J. Varga, Z. Koncz, S. Kocsubé, T. Mátrai, J. Téren, V. Ostry, J. Skarkova, J. Ruprich, A. Kubatova and Z. Kozakiewicz

Ochratoxin A is a mycotoxin produced by Aspergillus and Penicillium species. This mycotoxin is a common contaminant of various foods including cereal products, spices, dried vine fruits, coffee, cocoa, beer and wine. Apart from cereal products, beer and wine contribute significantly to ochratoxin exposure of humans. In the Mediterranean region of Europe, the black Aspergillus species are the sources of ochratoxin contamination of grape products. In this study, we examined the source of ochratoxin contamination of grapes in Hungary and the Czech Republic. The mycobiota of grape berries from 25 Hungarian and Czech vineyards was examined. Potential ochratoxin producing fungi were only identified in grapes from Southern Hungary. Among the 16 black Aspergillus strains isolated, 12 belong to the A. niger species, and 10 produced small amounts (1.5–10 μg kg −1 ) of ochratoxin A in a liquid medium. We could also identify an A. tubingensis isolate which produced 3.5 μg kg −1 ochratoxin A in a liquid medium at pH 6.0. However, the amount of ochratoxin A produced was very low even in a medium which is favourable for mycotoxin production, and ochratoxin A was not detected in any of the grape juice, must and wine samples examined, indicating the absence of health hazard to costumers. Other potentially toxigenic fungi including Aspergillus flavus, Penicillium expansum and Alternaria species were also isolated. Further studies are in progress to evaluate the importance of these fungi in food safety.

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