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Article

Seasonal Variation in Aflatoxin Levels in Edible Seeds, Estimation of Its Dietary Intake and Vitamin E Levels in Southern Areas of Punjab, Pakistan

1
Natural Medicines and Products Research Laboratory, Institute of Bioscience, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Serdang 43400, Selangor, Malaysia
2
Department of Food Science, Faculty of Food Science and Technology, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Serdang 43400, Selangor, Malaysia
3
Department of Applied Chemistry, Government College University Faisalabad, Faisalabad 38000, Pakistan
4
Food Toxicology Lab, Nuclear Institute for Agriculture and Biology (NIAB), Faisalabad 38000, Pakistan
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(23), 8964; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238964
Received: 25 October 2020 / Revised: 19 November 2020 / Accepted: 19 November 2020 / Published: 2 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Contaminants and Their Risk Assessment)
A total of 779 samples of edible nuts (melon seeds, watermelon seeds, pumpkin seeds, and cantaloupe seeds) from Southern Punjab (Pakistan), were collected during the summer and the winter seasons. The natural occurrence of aflatoxins (AFs) and vitamin E (tocopherols) levels were investigated using HPLC. The results have shown that 180 (43.4%) of samples from the winter season and 122 (33.4%) samples from the summer season were found positive for AFs. Elevated average levels of total AFs (20.9 ± 3.10 μg/kg, dry weight) were observed in watermelon seeds without shell, and the lowest average amount (15.9 ± 3.60 μg/kg) were documented in melon seeds without shell samples from the winter season. An elevated average amount of total AFs 17.3 ± 1.50 μg/kg was found in pumpkin seeds available without a shell. The results have documented a significant difference in total AFs levels in edible seeds available with shells versus without shells (α = 0.05 & 0.01). The highest dietary intake of 6.30 μg/kg/day was found in female individuals from consuming pumpkin seeds (without shell) in the winter season. A value of 3.00 μg/kg/day was found in pumpkin seed without shell in the summer season in female individuals. The highest total tocopherol levels were 22.2 ± 7.70 ng/100 g in pumpkin seeds samples from the winter season and 14.5 ± 5.50 mg/100 g in melon seed samples from the summer season. The variation of total tocopherol levels in edible seeds among the winter and summer seasons showed a significant difference (p ≤ 0.0054), except watermelon seeds samples with non-significant differences (p ≥ 0.183). View Full-Text
Keywords: AFs; edible seeds; tocopherols levels; dietary intake AFs; edible seeds; tocopherols levels; dietary intake
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MDPI and ACS Style

Razis, A.F.A.; Shehzad, M.M.; Usman, S.; Ali, N.B.; Iqbal, S.Z.; Naheed, N.; Asi, M.R. Seasonal Variation in Aflatoxin Levels in Edible Seeds, Estimation of Its Dietary Intake and Vitamin E Levels in Southern Areas of Punjab, Pakistan. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 8964. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238964

AMA Style

Razis AFA, Shehzad MM, Usman S, Ali NB, Iqbal SZ, Naheed N, Asi MR. Seasonal Variation in Aflatoxin Levels in Edible Seeds, Estimation of Its Dietary Intake and Vitamin E Levels in Southern Areas of Punjab, Pakistan. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(23):8964. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238964

Chicago/Turabian Style

Razis, Ahmad Faizal Abdull, Muhammed Muzammel Shehzad, Sunusi Usman, Nada Basheir Ali, Shahzad Zafar Iqbal, Nadia Naheed, and Muhammad Rafique Asi. 2020. "Seasonal Variation in Aflatoxin Levels in Edible Seeds, Estimation of Its Dietary Intake and Vitamin E Levels in Southern Areas of Punjab, Pakistan" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 23: 8964. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238964

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