Food additives and contaminants

Survey of breakfast and infant cereals for aflatoxins B1, B2, G1 and G2.

PMID 16751146


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 B1, B2, G1 and G2 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 = 0.002 ng g-1) of aflatoxin B1, which is the most toxic of the four toxins. The levels found varied from 0.002 to 1.00 ng g-1 for aflatoxin B1, from 0.002 to 0.14 ng g-1 for aflatoxin B2, from 0.008 to 0.27 ng g-1 for aflatoxin G1, and from 0.008 to 0.048 ng g-1 for aflatoxin G2. Only 4% of the breakfast cereals and 1% of the infant cereals had aflatoxin B1 levels exceeding 0.1 ng g-1, which is the European Union maximum limit for aflatoxin B1 in baby foods and processed cereal-based foods for infants and young children.