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Aflatoxins in Turkish Dried Figs Intended for Export to the European Union

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Dried figs for export from Turkey from crop years 2003 through 2006 were tested for aflatoxin B1 and total aflatoxins. For export to the European Union, consignments of 0.5 to 10 tonnes of dried figs were sampled according to European Commission regulations, and high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) was used to determine concentrations of aflatoxins B1, B2, G1, and G2. For each consignment of dried figs, a 30-kg sample (comprising 100 subsamples) was divided into three 10-kg subsamples, which were separately blended and analyzed with HPLC. This monitoring effort was conducted for figs from 2003, 2004, 2005, and up to June 2006, for a total of 10,396 30-kg samples (28,489 analyses). The incidence of contamination with aflatoxin B1 at higher than 2 ng/g was on average 0.6, 2.0, 4.0, and 2.4% for 2003, 2004, 2005, and up to June 2006, respectively, whereas contamination with total aflatoxins at higher than 4 ng/g was 2.6, 3.0, 5.1, and 2.7%. There was significant variability in contamination between replicate 1-kg samples, indicating small numbers of individual contaminated figs were probably responsible. There were also substantial differences in the relative proportions of aflatoxins B1, B2, G1, and G2 among samples, suggesting different contributing fungal sources.

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, United Kingdom 3: Private Food Control Laboratory of Commodity Exchange of Aydın Province, 09010 Aydın, Turkey

Publication date: April 1, 2007

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