Food science and technology international = Ciencia y tecnologia de los alimentos internacional

Review. Ochratoxin A: presence in human plasma and intake estimation.

PMID 21339117


Ochratoxin A (OTA) is a fungal toxic secondary metabolite that can be found in several foodstuffs and thereby ingested by humans. One way to assess exposure of humans to OTA is the determination of the levels of this mycotoxin in blood plasma from a certain population. Such studies have been done in many countries, both in healthy people and nephropathy patients. Relationships with individual characteristics were investigated in several cases. Thus, most studies found no correlation with age, either with gender. However, the few studies that found correlation between OTA plasma levels and gender showed that men presented the highest values. When sampling was done over more than one season, the highest OTA plasma levels were found mostly in summer. Differences within regions of a country were related to dietary habits of each area. OTA levels of group populations showed variations from year to year, whereas intraindividual repetitions showed no specific trend. Daily intake of the toxin can be estimated from OTA plasma concentrations by the Klaassen equation. OTA toxicokinetics are considered in this review. Calculated daily intake of OTA by different studies did not overpass the proposed tolerable daily intakes of OTA.