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Survey for Co-occurrence of Ochratoxin A and Aflatoxin B1 in Dried Figs in Turkey by Using a Single Laboratory-Validated Alkaline Extraction Method for Ochratoxin A

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A survey was carried out to determine the co-occurrence of ochratoxin A and aflatoxin B1 in dried figs from Turkey. Samples from two seasons of crops (2003 and 2004) intended for export to the European Union and the 2004 crop obtained from the domestic Turkish market were analyzed. Affinity column cleanup methods were employed for determining separately ochratoxin A and aflatoxin B1, but for ochratoxin A an alkaline extraction procedure was employed (in contrast to the conventionally employed acidic extraction), which gave consistently higher toxin recovery. In-house validation of the ochratoxin A method gave a limit of detection of 0.15 ng/g and a limit of quantification of 0.5 ng/g with a repeatability of 5.8% in the range 5 to 10 ng/g (with a mean recovery of 94% for spiked samples). Positive results for ochratoxin A were confirmed by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry. For the 2003 export figs (58 samples), 7 samples contained only aflatoxin B1, 2 samples contained only ochratoxin A, and 2 samples contained both toxins (with maximum concentrations of 35.1 ng/g for aflatoxin B1 and 13.0 ng/g for ochratoxin A). Similarly for the 2004 export figs (41 samples), 16 samples contained only aflatoxin B1, 4 samples contained only ochratoxin A, and 2 samples contained both toxins (with maximum concentrations of 20.6 ng/g for aflatoxin B1 and 26.3 ng/g for ochratoxin A). Of 20 retail samples of dried figs from Turkey, only one sample contained ochratoxin A (2.0 ng/g) and none were contaminated with aflatoxin B1. This survey revealed a 14 to 15% incidence of occurrence of ochratoxin A for 2 years, which is higher than previously reported.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Ankara Test and Analysis Laboratory, Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey, Ankara 06330, Turkey 2: Central Science Laboratory, Sand Hutton, York YO41 1LZ, UK 3: Food Engineering Department, Hacettepe University, 06532 Beytepe, Ankara, Turkey 4: Private Food Control Laboratory of Commodity Exchange of Aydın Province, 09010 Aydın, Turkey

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