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Toxins 2010, 2(4), 758-770; doi:10.3390/toxins2040758
Article

Ochratoxin A and Aflatoxins in Liquorice Products

* ,  and
Istituto di Scienze degli Alimenti e della Nutrizione, Facoltà di Agraria, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Via Emilia Parmense, 84 I-29100 Piacenza, Italy
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 February 2010 / Revised: 9 April 2010 / Accepted: 19 April 2010 / Published: 20 April 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ochratoxins)
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Abstract

The occurrence of ochratoxin A (OTA) and aflatoxins (AFs) in liquorice products made in Italy was surveyed. Twenty-eight samples of dried liquorice extract and fifty-four of liquorice confectionery (liquorice content between 2 and 10%) were collected from retail outlets located in northern Italy. After extraction and purification through an immunoaffinity column, OTA and AFs were analysed using both HPLC-FLD and HPLC-MS/MS. OTA occurred in all samples of dried liquorice extract and in 61% of samples of liquorice confectionery, showing very high values for the former (mean 89.6 µg kg-1, maximum value 990.1 µg kg-1), and relatively low levels for the latter (mean 0.96 µg kg-1, maximum value 8.3 µg kg-1). The contribution of dried liquorice extract to OTA intake appears to be non-negligible for children, who are potentially high consumers. AF contamination resulted very low: AFB1 was detected only in 15.8% of samples (maximum value 7.7 µg kg-1, mean 0.38 and 0.41 µg kg-1 for dried liquorice extract and liquorice confectionery, respectively); the other AFs were not detected. To our knowledge, it is the first time that AFB1 has been detected in liquorice extract samples.
Keywords: ochratoxin; aflatoxins; liquorice ochratoxin; aflatoxins; liquorice
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).
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Pietri, A.; Rastelli, S.; Bertuzzi, T. Ochratoxin A and Aflatoxins in Liquorice Products. Toxins 2010, 2, 758-770.

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