Food additives & contaminants. Part A, Chemistry, analysis, control, exposure & risk assessment

Mycoflora and natural occurrence of aflatoxin, cyclopiazonic acid, fumonisin and ochratoxin A in dried figs.

PMID 21838625


Mycoflora, the mycotoxigenic properties of moulds, and natural contamination with mycotoxins such as aflatoxins (AFs), cyclopiazonic acid (CPA), fumonisin B(1) (FB(1)) and ochratoxin A (OTA) were investigated in dried figs. Dry fig samples were collected from orchards during the drying stage in the Aegean Region of Turkey. Fungal isolates were identified using morphological, chemical as well as molecular methods. Mycotoxigenic characteristics of moulds were assessed by thin-layer chromatography (TLC) and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Mycotoxins except CPA (by TLC) were determined by HPLC. All the fig samples were contaminated with moulds and 94.7% contained one or more mycotoxigenic species. The most prevalent moulds present in dried figs belong to the Aspergillus section Nigri members, being 93.9% positive for the samples, followed by Fusarium spp., Aspergillus section Flavi and Penicillium spp. On the other hand, Fusarium spp. had the highest count and the number of fumonisin producing Fusarium was also high. A total of 48% of 115 dried fig samples contained OTA (range = 0.1-15.3 ng g(-1)), 74.7% of the samples had FB(1) (range = 0.05-3.65 mg kg(-1)), 10.0% of the samples had aflatoxin (range = 0.1-763.2 ng g(-1)) and 24.3% of the samples were tentatively identified as being contaminated with CPA (range = 25-187 ng g(-1)). Dried fig samples were contaminated with one (33.0%), two (47.0%), three (5.2%) and four mycotoxins (3.5%). A total of 11.3% of dried fig samples were not contaminated with any of the four mycotoxins. To the best of our knowledge, CPA and fumonisin have been found for the first time in dried figs.