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Survey of breakfast and infant cereals for aflatoxins B 1 , B 2 , G 1 and G 2

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Three hundred and forty-nine breakfast and infant cereal samples were collected at retail level across Canada from 2002 to 2005. They included rice-, soy-, barley-based and mixed-grain infant cereals, corn-, wheat-, rice-based and mixed-grain breakfast cereals, and were analysed for aflatoxins B 1 , B 2 , G 1 and G 2 using a modified AOAC International official method. An immunoaffinity column was used for the cleanup and purification of extracts. Determination of aflatoxins was by LC using post-column derivatization with pyridinium hydrobromide perbromide and fluorescence detection. Results indicated that 50% of both breakfast and infant cereals had detectable levels (limit of detection=0.002ngg −1 ) of aflatoxin B 1 , which is the most toxic of the four toxins. The levels found varied from 0.002 to 1.00ngg −1 for aflatoxin B 1 , from 0.002 to 0.14ngg −1 for aflatoxin B 2 , from 0.008 to 0.27ngg −1 for aflatoxin G 1 , and from 0.008 to 0.048ng g −1 for aflatoxin G 2 . Only 4% of the breakfast cereals and 1% of the infant cereals had aflatoxin B 1 levels exceeding 0.1ngg −1 , which is the European Union maximum limit for aflatoxin B 1 in baby foods and processed cereal-based foods for infants and young children.
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Keywords: Aflatoxin B 1; breakfast cereals; immunoaffinity column; infant cereals; liquid chromatography

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Food Laboratories Division, Health Products and Food Branch, Health Canada, 2301 Midland Avenue, Scarborough, Ontario M1P 4R7, Canada 2: Food Research Division, Health Products and Food Branch, Health Canada, Address Locator 2203D, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0L2, Canada

Publication date: July 1, 2006

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