Authors:B. Tóth, O. Török, É. Kótai, M. Varga, É. Toldiné Tóth, X. Pálfi, E. Háfra, J. Varga, J. Téren, and Á. Mesterházy
Aspergillus and Penicillium species and their mycotoxins, including aflatoxins, ochratoxins, fumonisins and patulin, are frequently encountered on cereal products. The occurrence of these species and their mycotoxins on maize was investigated in Hungary after harvest in two consecutive years. Surface-sterilized cereal seeds were placed on selective media, and the isolated fungal strains were identified using morphological methods. In 2010 and 2011, 81.94% and 14.33%, respectively, of the samples were found to be contaminated with potentially toxigenic isolates. The species identification of selected isolates was carried out using sequence-based methods. Several Aspergillus flavus isolates were identified, which are potential aflatoxin producers. Other mycotoxinproducing species were also isolated, including black Aspergilli, which potentially produce ochratoxins and fumonisins, and A. clavatus, which produces patulin. In 2010 a large number of Penicillium species occurred in the samples, producing a wide range of mycotoxins. The mycotoxin content of the samples was analysed using the ELISA and HPLC techniques. Aflatoxins were not detected in any of the samples, while ochratoxins and fumonisins were successfully identified in some of the maize seeds.
Our knowledge on the presence of mycotoxin producing fungi and mycotoxins in food commodities in the last decade in Hungary has been summarized in this review. Among the mycotoxin producing fungi, detailed data are available for Fusarium species in cereals, and mycotoxigenic Aspergillus species in different food commodities including coffee, raisins and spices. Ochratoxin concentrations above the tolerable limit have mostly been detected in imported products such as peanuts and coffee. Ochratoxin levels close to the tolerable limit have been observed in Hungarian red peppers. Besides, ochratoxin A has also been detected in Hungarian wine, beer and raisins. Aflatoxins are usually detected in considerable quantities only in imported agricultural products in Hungary, while patulin concentrations were usually below the allowable limit in Hungarian apple juice concentrates. In the future, continuous sampling and analysis of foods and feeds are required to ensure consumer safety in Hungary.
Authors:Melanie Broszat, Christoph Welle, Monika Wojnowski, Helena Ernst, and Bernd Spangenberg
Thin-layer chromatography is a rapid and reliable working method for quantification of mycotoxins which is suitable for checking EC legislation aflatoxin limits for dried figs without an RP-18 pre-column cleaning step. We describe normal-phase chromatography on silica gel plates with 2.4:0.05:0.1:0.05 (
-butyl ether-water-methanol-cyclohexane as mobile phase and reversed-phase chromatography on RP-18 plates with methanol-4% aqueous ZnSO
solution-ethyl methyl ketone 15:15:3 (
) as mobile phase. Sample pretreatment was by modified QuEChERS (Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effective, Rugged, Safe) extraction with tetrahydrofuran or acetone. NaCl was used as QuEChERS salt. Response was a linear function of amount chromatographed in the ranges 3 to 100 pg per zone for aflatoxins B
, 10 to 350 pg per zone for the aflatoxins B
, and 0.25 to 2.5 ng per zone for ochratoxin A. Quantification limits for the aflatoxins were between 13 and 35 pg per zone (equivalent to 1.5 and 2.4 ppb, taking the pre-treatment procedure into account). Ochratoxin A was detectable with a limit of quantification of 970 pg per zone, corresponding to 56 ppb in the sample. Normal phase and RP-18 separations work rapidly, reliably, and at low cost. They are also suitable for checking the content of the mycotoxins patulin, penicillic acid, zearalenone, and deoxynivalenol.
Mycotoxins are natural compounds that may cause various adverse toxicological manifestations in humans and animals. The nature, the severity and scope of their adverse activity are varied and in general, even in small amount they have potent carcinogenic, genotoxic effect and injure the immune system. In order to provide high level of health protection for consumers, the European Union has established strict regulatory limits, whose implementation is enforced.The EC (2001) Commission Regulation sets maximum levels for some mycotoxins in foodstuffs: for aflatoxins, ochratoxin A, patulin, deoxynivalenol, zearalenone, fumonisins, T-2 and HT-2 toxins. Particular product categories are regulated under specific decisions ordaining control of imported consignments at the point of entry. Due to the fact that only aflatoxins are addressed in the specific decisions, they are the mostly detected and notified mycotoxins in the EU Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF). The second most frequent group, Ochratoxin A is typically detected during internal EU market controls. Most RASFF notifications concern product categories falling under specific EU decisions, especially the Aflatoxin content of nuts and nut products. Significant amount of aflatoxins can be found also in dried fruits, spices and herbs.The article reviews and analyses the data available in rapid alert system concerning mycotoxins notification, and evaluates the usefulness of this information for risk assessment. The value of RASFF system is unquestionable and it fulfils its intended function included in its name. The system is a significant source of valuable information, but for risk assessment purposes, other additional information is needed. It could be used most effectively for risk assessment, if it was to provide data on the ratio of all/tested/positive lots and if the authorities provided not only the positive results, but also the exact mycotoxins level of every analysed sample.