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Distribution and stability of aflatoxin M1 during production and storage of yoghurt

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Yoghurt from cow's milk artificially contaminated with aflatoxin M1 (AFM1) at levels of 0.050 and 0.100 g l–1 was fermented to reach pHs 4.0 and 4.6. Yoghurt fermented to pH 4.6 was also used for preparing strained yoghurt. Yoghurts were stored at 4°C for up to 4 weeks. Analysis of AFM1 in milk, yoghurt, strained yoghurt and yoghurt whey was carried out using immunoaffinity column extraction and liquid chromatography coupled with fluorometric detection. AFM1 levels in yoghurt samples showed a significant decrease (p < 0.01) compared with those initially added to milk. Growth of culture lactic acid bacteria was not affected in the AFM1 contaminated yoghurts, with the exception of Streptococcus thermophilus that showed a significantly (p < 0.01) lower increase in the yoghurt containing the toxin at high concentration. Following fermentation, AFM1 was significantly lower (p < 0.01) in yoghurts with pH 4.0 than in yoghurts with pH 4.6 at both contamination levels. During refrigerated storage, AFM1 was rather more stable in yoghurts with pH 4.6 than with pH 4.0. The percentage loss of the initial amount of AFM1 in milk was estimated at about 13 and 22% by the end of the fermentation, and 16 and 34% by the end of storage for yoghurts with pHs 4.6 and 4.0, respectively. The percentage distribution ratio of AFM1 in strained yoghurt/yoghurt whey of the initial toxin present in the yoghurt was about 90/10 and 87/13 for the lower and the higher contamination levels, respectively.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Laboratory of Hygiene of Foods of Animal Origin, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Thessaly, 43100 Karditsa, Greece. 2: Institute of Biochemistry, Toxicology and Nourishment of Animals, Ministry of Agriculture, Athens, Greece. 3: Laboratory of Hygiene of Foods of Animal Origin, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. 4: Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Aristotle University, 54006 Thessaloniki, Greece

Publication date: November 1, 2002

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