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Potential health hazards due to the occurrence of the mycotoxin tenuazonic acid in infant food

Abstract

The mycotoxin tenuazonic acid (TA) was analyzed in different infant foods and beverages including tea infusions (fruit, herbal and fennel tea), puree infant food in jars (complementary food and side dishes) and infant cereals (for preparation of meals after addition of water or milk) by means of a stable isotope dilution assay (SIDA). The median content of TA in infant tea infusions (n = 12) was 2 μg/L, but values up to 20 μg/L were found in fennel tea infusions. In puree infant food in jars (n = 12), the median content of TA was 7 μg/kg, but higher values were detected in products containing tomato (25 μg/kg), banana and cherry (80 μg/kg) and sorghum (20 μg/kg). Infant cereals on the basis of wheat and/or oats, rice, spelt and barley (n = 4) did not contain TA in values higher than 30 μg/kg, but if sorghum was the major ingredient (n = 12), the mean content of TA was 550 μg/kg and the maximum level was 1,200 μg/kg. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) evaluated the toxicological potential of TA by following the threshold of toxicological concern (TTC) approach yielding a TTC value of 1,500 ng TA/kg body weight per day. Although long-term studies are needed to enlarge the database on TA contamination of sorghum-based infant food, our preliminary study points out to a tendency that the TTC value may be exceeded by infants consuming predominantly sorghum-based food. Nevertheless, further toxicity data on TA are required with high priority to assess potential health hazards.

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Acknowledgments

The authors thank Christopher Zeck, BIOANALYTIK Weihenstephan, Technische Universität München, for excellent technical assistance and Sabine Mönch, BIOANALYTIK Weihenstephan, Technische Universität München, for helpful comments and discussions.

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Correspondence to Michael Rychlik.

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Asam, S., Rychlik, M. Potential health hazards due to the occurrence of the mycotoxin tenuazonic acid in infant food. Eur Food Res Technol 236, 491–497 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00217-012-1901-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00217-012-1901-x

Keywords

  • Tenuazonic acid
  • Mycotoxin
  • Infant food
  • Stable isotope dilution assay
  • LC–MS/MS