Assessment of aflatoxin M1 levels in selected dairy products in north-western Iran
The purpose of this survey was to evaluate the natural occurrence and content of aflatoxin M1, AFM1, in dairy products marketed in Urmia. During September 2007, 40 samples of pasteurised milk, 40 samples of ultra high temperature-treated (UHT) milk, 40 samples of creamy cheese and 40 samples of Iranian Feta cheese were collected from different supermarkets in Urmia city. AFM1 contents were determined by the competitive enzyme-linked imunosorbent assay (ELISA) technique. All milk samples analysed showed a mean of AFM1 concentrations lower than the permissible level of 50 ng/kg in Iran (23.22 and 19.53 ng/kg in pasteurised milk and UHT milk respectively). The mean levels of AFM1 contamination were 43.31 ng/kg in Feta cheeses and 21.96 ng/kg in creamy cheeses. The potential risk of human exposure to aflatoxin M1 via consumption of milk and milk products is well known. Dairy products must therefore be evaluated for aflatoxin and kept free from fungal contamination as much as possible.
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