Mycotoxin Research

, Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 141–148 | Cite as

Occurrence of ochratoxin A in typical salami produced in different regions of Italy

  • Alberto Altafini
  • Giorgio Fedrizzi
  • Paola RoncadaEmail author
Original Article


A total of 172 different salamis were purchased from farms and small salami factories located in four Italian regions (Piedmont, Veneto, Calabria, and Sicily) and analyzed for the presence of ochratoxin A (OTA). Analysis was performed by high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to a fluorimetric detector (HPLC-FLD). The detection limit (LOD) for the method used was 0.05 μg/kg, while the quantitation limit (LOQ) was 0.20 μg/kg; the average recovery rate was 89.1%. OTA was detected in 22 salamis, and 3 samples exceeded the Italian guidance value for OTA in pork meat (1 μg/kg). In particular, what emerges from this research is the high percentage of spicy salamis among positive samples (68.2%, 15 out of 22), although spicy salamis are only 27.3% of the total number of samples collected and analyzed. Red chili pepper contaminated by OTA could be responsible for the presence of the mycotoxin in these spicy salamis. It follow that, also the control of some ingredients used in the manufacture of these meat products, like spices, should not be neglected.


Mycotoxins Ochratoxin A Salami Spices Contamination HPLC-FLD 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest


Supplementary material

12550_2018_338_MOESM1_ESM.docx (16 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 15 kb)


  1. Abid S, Hassen W, Achour A, Skhiri H, Maaroufi K, Ellouz F, Creppy E, Bacha H (2003) Ochratoxin A and human chronic nephropathy in Tunisia: is the situation endemic? Hum Exp Toxicol 22:77–84CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Alapont C, López-Mendoza MC, Gil JV, Martínez-Culebras PV (2014) Mycobiota and toxigenic Penicillium species on two Spanish dry-cured ham manufacturing plants. Food Addit Contam Part A 31:93–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Altafini A, Armorini S, Zaghini A, Sardi L, Roncada P (2017) Tissue distribution of ochratoxin A in pigs after administration of two-levels contaminated diets. World Mycotoxin J 10:263–272CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Amézqueta S, González-Peñas E, Murillo-Arbizu M, López de Cerain A (2009) Ochratoxin A decontamination: a review. Food Control 20:326–333CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Armorini S, Altafini A, Zaghini A, Roncada P (2016) Ochratoxin A in artisan salami produced in Veneto (Italy). Food Addit Contam Part B 9:9–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Battilani P, Pietri A, Giorni P, Formenti S, Bertuzzi T, Toscani T, Virgili R, Kozakiewicz Z (2007) Penicillium populations in dry-cured ham manufacturing plants. J Food Prot 70:975–980CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Berni E, Montagna I, Restivo FM, Degola F (2017) Ochratoxin A control in meat derivatives: intraspecific biocompetition between Penicillium nordicum strains. J Food Qual 2017:1–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bertuzzi T, Gualla A, Morlacchini M, Pietri A (2013) Direct and indirect contamination with ochratoxin A of ripened pork products. Food Control 34:79–83CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bozzo G, Ceci E, Bonerba E, Di Pinto A, Tantillo G, De Giglio E (2012) Occurrence of ochratoxin A in the wild boar (Sus scrofa): chemical and histological analysis. Toxins 4:1440–1450CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  10. Dall’Asta C, Galaverna G, Bertuzzi T, Moseriti A, Pietri A, Dossena A, Marchelli R (2010) Occurrence of ochratoxin A in raw ham muscle, salami and dry-cured ham from pigs fed with contaminated diet. Food Chem 120:978–983CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. EFSA (2006) European food safety authority. Opinion of the scientific panel on contaminants in the food chain on a request from the commission related to ochratoxin A in food. EFSA J 365:1–56Google Scholar
  12. European Commission (2006) Commission recommendation of 17 August 2006 on the presence of deoxynivalenol, zearalenone, ochratoxin A, T-2 and HT-2 and fumonisins in products intended for animal feeding (Text with EEA relevance) (2006/576/EC). Off J Eur Union L229:7–9Google Scholar
  13. Iacumin L, Chiesa L, Boscolo D, Manzano M, Cantoni C, Orlic S, Comi G (2009) Moulds and ochratoxin A on surfaces of artisanal and industrial dry sausages. Food Microbiol 26:65–70CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. IARC (1993) Some naturally occurring substances: food items and constituents, heterocyclic aromatic amines and mycotoxins. IARC Monogr Eval Carcinog Risks to Humans 56:489–521Google Scholar
  15. Ikoma T, Tsuchiya Y, Asai T, Okano K, Ito N, Endoh K, Yamamoto M, Nakamura K (2015) Ochratoxin A contamination of red chili peppers from Chile, Bolivia and Peru, countries with a high incidence of gallbladder Cancer. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 16:5987–5991CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Ikoma T, Kapoor VK, Behari A, Mishra K, Tsuchiya Y, Asai T, Endoh K, Okano K, Nakamura K (2016) Lack of an apparent association between mycotoxin concentrations in red chili peppers and incidence of gallbladder cancer in India : an ecological study. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 17:3499–3503PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. ISO (2008) International standard ISO 9001:2008. Quality management systems - requirements. ISO, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  18. JECFA (2008) Joint FAO/WHO expert committee on food additives. Ochratoxin A (addendum). In: Safety evaluation of certain food additives and contaminants, prepared by the 68th Meeting of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives. WHO Food Additives Series, 59. World Health Organisation, Geneva, pp 357-429, 454Google Scholar
  19. Mantle PG (2002) Risk assessment and the importance of ochratoxins. Int Biodeterior Biodegrad 50:143–146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Markov K, Pleadin J, Bevardi M, Vahčić N, Sokolić-Mihalak D, Frece J (2013) Natural occurrence of aflatoxin B1, ochratoxin A and citrinin in Croatian fermented meat products. Food Control 34:312–317CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Merla C, Andreoli G, Garino C, Vicari N, Tosi G, Guglielminetti ML, Moretti A, Biancardi A, Arlorio M, Fabbi M (2018) Monitoring of ochratoxin A and ochratoxin-producing fungi in traditional salami manufactured in Northern Italy. Mycotoxin Res 34:107–116CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Ministero della Sanità (1999) CIRCOLARE 9 giugno 1999, n.10 Direttive in materia di controllo ufficiale sui prodotti alimentari: valori massimi ammissibili di micotossine nelle derrate alimentari di origine nazionale, comunitaria e Paesi terzi. Gazzetta Ufficiale n. 135 del 11-06-1999Google Scholar
  23. Miraglia M, Brera C (2002) Assessment of dietary intake of ochratoxin A by the population in EU member states, reports on tasks for scientific cooperation, task 3.2.7. Publisher: SCOOP Directorate-General Health and consumer ProtectionGoogle Scholar
  24. Mitchell NJ, Chen C, Palumbo JD, Bianchini A, Cappozzo J, Stratton J, Ryu D, Wu F (2017) A risk assessment of dietary ochratoxin a in the United States. Food Chem Toxicol 100:265–273CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Monaci L, Tantillo G, Palmisano F (2004) Determination of ochratoxin A in pig tissues by liquid–liquid extraction and clean-up and high-performance liquid chromatography. Anal Bioanal Chem 378:1777–1782CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Monaci L, Palmisano F, Matrella R, Tantillo G (2005) Determination of ochratoxin A at part-per-trillion level in Italian salami by immunoaffinity clean-up and high-performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection. J Chromatogr A 1090:184–187CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Perši N, Pleadin J, Kovačević D, Scortichini G, Milone S (2014) Ochratoxin A in raw materials and cooked meat products made from OTA-treated pigs. Meat Sci 96:203–210CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Petkova-Bocharova T, Chernozemsky IN, Castegnaro M (1988) Ochratoxin A in human blood in relation to Balkan endemic nephropathy and urinary system tumours in Bulgaria. Food Addit Contam 5:299–301CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Pietri A, Bertuzzi T, Gualla A, Piva G (2006) Occurrence of ochratoxin A in raw ham muscles and in pork products from northern Italy. Ital J Food Sci 1:1–8Google Scholar
  30. Pleadin J, Perši N, Kovačević D, Vulić A, Frece J, Markov K (2014) Ochratoxin A reduction in meat sausages using processing methods practiced in households. Food Addit Contam Part B 7:239–246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Pleadin J, Kovačević D, Perši N (2015) Ochratoxin A contamination of the autochthonous dry-cured meat product “Slavonski Kulen” during a six-month production process. Food Control 57:377–384CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Pleadin J, Kudumija N, Kovačević D, Scortichini G, Milone S, Kmetič I (2016) Comparison of ochratoxin A levels in edible pig tissues and in biological fluids after exposure to a contaminated diet. Mycotoxin Res 32:145–151CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Rodríguez A, Capela D, Medina Á, Córdoba JJ, Magana N (2015) Relationship between ecophysiological factors, growth and ochratoxin A contamination of dry-cured sausage based matrices. Int J Food Microbiol 194:71–77CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Stoev SD, Gundasheva D, Zarkov I, Mircheva T, Zapryanova D, Denev S, Mitev Y, Daskalov H, Dutton M, Mwanza M, Schneider YJ (2012) Experimental mycotoxic nephropathy in pigs provoked by a mouldy diet containing ochratoxin A and fumonisin B1. Exp Toxicol Pathol 64:733–741CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Völkel I, Schröer-Merker E, Czerny CP (2011) The carry-over of mycotoxins in products of animal origin with special regard to its implications for the European food safety legislation. Food Nutr Sci 2:852–867Google Scholar
  36. WHO (1996) World Health Organisation. Ochratoxin A. In: Toxicological evaluation of certain food additives and contaminants, prepared by the 44th Meeting of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives. WHO Food Additives Series, 35. World Health Organisation, Geneva, pp 363–376Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Society for Mycotoxin Research and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Veterinary Medical SciencesUniversity of BolognaOzzano EmiliaItaly
  2. 2.Reparto chimico degli alimenti, Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia e dell’Emilia Romagna “Bruno Ubertini”BolognaItaly

Personalised recommendations