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Ochratoxin A and aflatoxins in liquorice products

, : Ochratoxin A and aflatoxins in liquorice products. Toxins 2(4): 758-770

The occurrence of ochratoxin A (OTA) and aflatoxins (AFs) in liquorice products made in Italy was surveyed. Twenty-eight samples of dried liquorice extract and fifty-four of liquorice confectionery (liquorice content between 2 and 10%) were collected from retail outlets located in northern Italy. After extraction and purification through an immunoaffinity column, OTA and AFs were analysed using both HPLC-FLD and HPLC-MS/MS. OTA occurred in all samples of dried liquorice extract and in 61% of samples of liquorice confectionery, showing very high values for the former (mean 89.6 µg kg(-1), maximum value 990.1 µg kg(-1)), and relatively low levels for the latter (mean 0.96 µg kg (-1), maximum value 8.3 µg kg (-1)). The contribution of dried liquorice extract to OTA intake appears to be non-negligible for children, who are potentially high consumers. AF contamination resulted very low: AFB (1) was detected only in 15.8% of samples (maximum value 7.7 µg kg (-1), mean 0.38 and 0.41 µg kg (-1) for dried liquorice extract and liquorice confectionery, respectively); the other AFs were not detected. To our knowledge, it is the first time that AFB (1) has been detected in liquorice extract samples.


PMID: 22069608

DOI: 10.3390/toxins2040758

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