So far aflatoxin has not been detected in crops grown in Sweden but only in imported feedstuffs or in feed mixtures containing imported products. During the survey for other mycotoxins in Swedish crops a compound was detected in oats which, by further analysis, was identified as aflatoxin B1. Quantitative evaluation showed concentrations as high as 2.6 ppm. The fungal population in this highly contaminated sample consisted almost entirely of Aspergillus flavus.
An AOAC/IUPAC collaborative study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of a multifunctional column for the determination of aflatoxins. The test portion is extracted with acetonitrile-water (9 + 1), the extract is filtered, and the filtrate is passed through the column. The aflatoxins in the eluate are determined by reversed-phase liquid chromatography after derivatization with trifluoroacetic acid. Naturally contaminated corn, almonds, Brazil nuts, peanuts, and pistachio nuts spiked with total aflatoxins at 5, 10, 20, and 30 ng/g were sent to 12 collaborators in the United States, Denmark, France, Japan, and Switzerland. Eleven collaborators completed the study. Average recoveries of total aflatoxins for each spike level for the various commodities (excluding Brazil nuts at 5 ng/g) were 93, 97, 95, and 95%, respectively; the repeatability relative standard deviation (RSDr) ranged from 6.0 to 23.2% and the reproducibility relative standard deviation (RSDR) ranged from 12.0 to 69.4%. The multifunctional column coupled with a liquid chromatographic method for determination of aflatoxins in corn, almonds, Brazil nuts, peanuts, and pistachio nuts has been adopted first action by AOAC INTERNATIONAL.
Although 50 countries have enacted or proposed regulations for control of alfatoxins in food or feed, and 15 of these countries also have regulations for permitted levels of contamination by other mycotoxins, very few countries have formally presented the rationale for the need to regulate, or for the selection of a particular maximum tolerated level. After several successive inquiries, information concerning the rationale for regulation was obtained from 21 countries. Most of the responses concerned limits for aflatoxin in food, and most of these were based on a vague, unsupported statement of the carcinogenic risk for humans. There was a general consensus that exposure to a potential human carcinogen that could not be totally avoided should be limited to the lowest practical level; the definition of practicality depended on whether the country was an importer or producer of the potentially contaminated commodity. A claim to a hazard evaluation was made by six countries (Canada, Belgium, India, United Kingdom, United States, Switzerland) without providing specifics; and one country, South Africa, referred to a risk determination. The most comprehensive rationale for any mycotoxin regulation was provided by the United States in support of limits for aflatoxin in specific animal feedstuffs. The responses provided no rationale for setting limits for other mycotoxins; but scholarly risk assessments for zearalenone and ochratoxin A have been published by Canadian government scientists, and a symposium presentation provides the information that in Norway patulin is regulated for quality control purposes only. It is apparent that, in most countries, either the scientific basis for regulation of mycotoxins is nonexistent, or the science has not been fully utilized.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
An interlaboratory study of a solvent-efficient thin-layer chromatographic (TLC) method for the determination of aflatoxins B1, B2, G1, and G2 was conducted in laboratories located in the United States, France, Tunisia, and Denmark. Eighteen artificially contaminated samples plus blanks of raw peanuts and peanut butter and corn containing varying amounts of aflatoxins B1, B2, G1, and G2 were distributed to participating laboratories. The method consists of elements of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Contaminants Branch (CB) (AOAC Method 968.22) and FDA, Best Foods (BF) (AOAC Method 970.45) methods with reduced requirements for solvents. Participating laboratories used either visual or densitometric techniques during the final determinative step. Statistical analysis of the data was performed to determine or confirm outliers and to compute repeatability and reproducibility of the method using either visual or densitometric techniques for the determinative step. Reported results from laboratories using a densitometer showed that, for corn, the relative standard deviation for repeatability (RSDr) for aflatoxin B1 ranged from 56.6 to 41.7% for contamination levels ranging from 5 to 50 ng/g. For raw peanuts and peanut butter, the RSDr values for aflatoxin B1 ranged from 21.3 to 37.3% and 65.9 to 42.1%, respectively, for the contamination levels ranging from 5 to 25 ng/g. RSDr ranges for aflatoxins B2, G1, and G2 were similar. For reproducibility (R), the RSDR ranges for aflatoxin B1 were 41.7-56.6%, 56.6-84.8%, and 26.4-37.3% for corn, peanut butter, and raw peanuts, respectively. Average recoveries for all aflatoxins at all levels were 95.3, 139.0, and 95.6% for corn, peanut butter, and raw peanuts, respectively. When analysts determined aflatoxin concentrations in corn by visual comparison to standards, the RSDr values for aflatoxin B1 were 47.8-11.4% for contamination levels ranging from 5 to 50 ng/g. For raw peanuts and peanut butter, the RSDr values for aflatoxin B1 were 76.3-12.6% and 33.4-8.8%, respectively, for the contamination levels ranging from 5 to 25 ng/g. RSDr values for aflatoxins B2, G1, and G2 were similar. The RSDR values for aflatoxin B1 were 34.6-90.2%, 45.5-59.3%, and 31.8-78.3% for corn, peanut butter, and raw peanuts, respectively. Average recoveries for all aflatoxins at all levels were 111.0, 157.6, and 92.3% for corn, peanut butter, and raw peanuts, respectively.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)