A study on the aflatoxin M1 rate and seasonal variation in pasteurized cow milk from northwestern Iran
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Present study aims to assess aflatoxin M1 (AFM1) contamination in 100 samples of pasteurized milk which were conventionally gathered during spring, summer, autumn, and winter from supermarkets located in Maragheh city of northwestern Iran. Samples were evaluated for AFM1 with a high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method and with fluorimetric detection. The results showed that approximately 44% (11.25) of samples in winter, 32% (8.25) of samples in spring, 24% (6.25) of samples in summer, and 20% (5.25) of samples in autumn had AFM1 concentrations that exceeded the limit (0.05 μg/l) set by the European, Codex Alimentarius Commission and Iran standards. According to the statistical analysis of the data, there was no significant variation between the mean content of AFM1 during different seasons (P = 0.076). The results of our study suggest a high level of contamination of AFM1 in pasteurized milk in all seasons which may be due to the fact that milk supply for dairy factories is provided from dairy farms that are low in livestock feed quality. In Iran, pasteurized milk is consumed more than other milk products by all age groups. The total daily aflatoxin intake from contaminated milk and possibly other food products will be a significant risk to public health.
KeywordsAflatoxins Milk Dairy products HPLC-FD Seasonal variation
The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support of Maragheh University of Medical Sciences for this research under grant number 64/1D/2785.
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