Skip to main content
Log in

Mycotoxins in foods in Lower Saxony (Germany): results of official control analyses performed in 2009

  • Original Paper
  • Published:
Mycotoxin Research Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

In this presentation, the mycotoxin levels—as analysed by the analytical centre for mycotoxin surveillance of the state food laboratory (LAVES Braunschweig)—for approximately 500 food samples are reported. The samples were collected in the year 2009 at retail in the German federal state of Lower Saxony. Aflatoxin and ochratoxin A were analysed in dried fruits, spices, cereals and tree nuts. Ochratoxin A was detected in all samples of dried vine fruits, at levels up to 8.1 μg/kg. Aflatoxins and ochratoxin A were also found in nutmeg and curry powder: the maximum regulatory levels for aflatoxins were exceeded in 25% of the nutmeg samples. Nearly all samples of basmati rice contained aflatoxins, although at levels below the maximum regulatory level in all but one sample. Aflatoxins were also detected in about 50% of hazelnut samples, in 20% of the samples the maximum levels was exceeded (maximum 23.2 μg/kg). In contrast, aflatoxin contents in pistachios were surprisingly low. Fusarium toxins were analysed in cereals and cereal products such as flour, bread, and pasta. Deoxynivalenol (DON) was the predominant toxin found in these samples: DON was found in about 40% of the samples, although the maximum levels were not exceeded (max. 418 μg/kg). Fumonisins (FBs) and zearalenone (ZEA) were specifically analysed in maize products (snacks, flour and oil). Most of these samples (80%) were positive, but at levels not exceeding the maximum levels. Maximum levels were 98 μg/kg (ZEA) and 577 μg/kg (sum of FB1 and FB2). Ergot alkaloids (six major alkaloids) were analysed in rye flour, and approximately 50% were positive. The highest concentration of ergot alkaloids was 1,063 μg/kg; the predominant alkaloids were ergotamine and ergocristine. In conclusion, the results indicate that continuous and efficient control measures for mycotoxins in a wide range of critical foods are necessary to ensure compliance with maximum levels. Although the mycotoxin levels in the vast majority of samples were below maximum levels, year-to-year variation and changes in the production of relevant commodities may result in a different picture in the future.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  • Aflatoxin-Verordnung (1976) Aflatoxin-Verordnung vom 30.11.1976 (BGBl. I S. 3313)

  • Appelt M, Ellner FM (2009) Investigations into the occurrence of alkaloids in ergot and single sclerotia from the 2007 and 2008 harvests. Mycotox Res 25:95–101

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • ASU (2004) L 23.05-2 Bestimmung von Aflatoxin B1 und der Summe von Aflatoxin B1, B2, G1 und G2 in Erdnüssen, Pistazien, Feigen und Paprikapulver

  • ASU (2006) L 15.05-3 Bestimmung von Fumonisin B1 und B2 in Maiserzeugnissen, HPLC-Verfahren mit Immunoaffinitätssäulen-Reinigung

  • Biopharm (2009) Easi extract zearalenone. Application note RP91/V11. R-Biopharm, Darmstadt

  • BVL (2008) Berichte zur Lebensmittelsicherheit 2007, Lebensmittelmonitoring, p 51 (http://www.bvl.bund.de/cln_027/nn_520288/DE/01__Lebensmittel/00__doks__download/01__lm__mon__dokumente/01__Monitoring__Berichte/archiv/lm__monitoring__bericht__2007,templateId=raw,property=publicationFile.pdf/lm_monitoring_bericht_2007.pdf)

  • Commission Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006 of 19 December 2006 setting maximum levels for certain contaminants in food stuffs. OJ L 364, 20.12.2006, p 5

  • Commission Regulation (EU) No 165/2010 of 26 February 2010 amending Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006 setting maximum levels for certain contaminants in foodstuffs as regards aflatoxins. OJ L 50, 27.02.2010, p 8

  • Commission Regulation (EU) No 105/2010 of 5 February 2010 amending Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006 setting maximum levels for certain contaminants in foodstuffs as regards ochratoxin A. OJ L 35, 6.2.2010, p 7

  • Council Regulation (EEC) No 315/1993 of 8 February 1993 laying down Community procedures for contaminants in food. OJ L 37, 13.2.1993, p 1

  • EFSA (2007) Opinion of the Scientific Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain on a request from the Commission related to the potential increase of consumer health risk by a possible increase of the existing maximum levels for aflatoxins in almonds, hazelnuts and pistachios and derived products. EFSA J 446:1-127. (http://www.efsa.europa.eu/cs/BlobServer/Scientific_Opinion/CONTAM%20_op_ej446_aflatoxins_en.pdf?ssbinary = true)

  • Fredlund E, Thim AM, Gidlund A, Brostedt S, Nyberg M, Olsen M (2009) Moulds and mycotoxins in rice from the Swedish retail market. Food Addit Contam A Chem Anal Control Expo Risk Assess 26(4):527–533

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Hülsdau B, Reinhold L (2009) Occurrence of aflatoxins in food in Lower Saxony in 2007 and 2008. Poster presentation, 31st Mycotoxin Workshop, Münster

  • Kappenstein O, St KH, Mehlitz I, Tiebach R, Weber R, Lepschy J, Wittkowski R (2005) Bestimmung von Zearalenon in Speiseölen mit GPC und LC-ESI-MS/MS. Mycotox Res 21:3–6

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Klötzel M, Lauber U, Humpf H-U (2006) A new solid phase extraction clean-up method for the determination of 12 type A- and B-trichothecenes in cereals and cereal-based food by LC-MS/MS. Mol Nutr Food Res 50:261–269

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Koch M, Steinmeyer S, Tiebach R, Weber R, Weyerstahl P (1996) Bestimmung von Ochratoxin A in Röstkaffee. Dtsch Lebensm-Rundsch 92:48–51

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • MacDonald S, Wilson P, Barnes K, Damant A, Massey R, Mortby E, Shepherd MJ (1999) Ochratoxin A in dried vine fruit: method development and survey. Food Addit Contam 16(6):253–260

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Mazaheri M (2009) Determination of aflatoxins in imported rice to Iran. Food Chem Toxicol 47(8):2064–2066

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Mücke W, Lemmen Ch (2004) Schimmelpilze: Vorkommen, Gesundheitsgefahren, Schutzmaßnahmen, 3rd edn. Ecomed, Landsberg

  • Reinhold L (2009) Fumonisine in Lebensmitteln. In: BVL (ed) Berichte zur Lebensmittelsicherheit 2008, p 71. (http://www.bvl.bund.de/cln_007/nn_520288/DE/01__Lebensmittel/00__doks__download/01__lm__mon__dokumente/01__Monitoring__Berichte/lmm__bericht__2008,templateId=raw,property=publicationFile.pdf/lmm_bericht_2008.pdf)

  • Reinhold L (2010) Fumonisine in Lebensmitteln. In: BVL (ed) Berichte zur Lebensmittelsicherheit 2009. Springer, Basel

  • Scheuer R, Dietrich R, Märtlbauer E, Gareis M (1997) Nachweis von Ochratoxin A in Fleisch und Fleischerzeugnissen. Proc 19th Mycotoxin Workshop, Munich

  • Taschan H (2010) Mutterkornalkaloide in Roggenerzeugnissen. In: BVL (ed) Berichte zur Lebensmittelsicherheit 2009. Springer, Basel

  • Verbraucherschutzbericht Niedersachsen (2008) Bericht zum gesundheitlichen Verbraucherschutz 2008, p 262

  • Mykotoxin-Höchstmengenverordnung (1999) Verordnung über Höchstmengen an Mykotoxinen in Lebensmitteln vom 2. Juni 1999 (BGBl. I S. 1248) zuletzt geändert durch Verordnung vom 22.2.2006 (BGBl. I S. 444), aufgehoben mit Wirkung vom 20.3.2010

  • Kontaminanten-Verordnung (2010) Verordnung zur Begrenzung von Kontaminanten in Lebensmitteln und zur Änderung oder Aufhebung anderer lebensmittelrechtlicher Verordnungen vom 19. März (BGBl. I S. 286)

  • Ware G, Price G, Carter L Jr (2000) Liquid chromatographic preparative method for isolating ergot alkaloids, using a particle-loaded membrane extraction disk. J AOAC Int 83(6):1395–1399

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

We thank I. Bartels, B. Beinling, G. Goda, M. Hennel, B. Kania, S. Müller, D. Smy-Volkert and C. Starke kindly for the excellent technical assistance.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Lilli Reinhold.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Reinhold, L., Reinhardt, K. Mycotoxins in foods in Lower Saxony (Germany): results of official control analyses performed in 2009. Mycotox Res 27, 137–143 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12550-011-0086-7

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12550-011-0086-7

Keywords

Navigation