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

Occurrence of fumonisins in Catalonia (Spain) and an exposure assessment of specific population groups.

PMID 22273497


Fumonisin B₁ (FB₁) and B₂ (FB₂) are mycotoxins produced by Fusarium verticillioides and F. proliferatum and common contaminants of cereal crops. The objectives of this study were to (1) study the occurrence of fumonisins in Catalonia (north-eastern region of Spain) and (2) assess the exposure of the Catalonian population to these mycotoxins. Contamination data was provided by a wide survey where 928 individual samples were pooled to analyse 370 composite samples. Fumonisins were extracted and purified using immunoaffinity columns and determined by HPLC with fluorescence detection. The raw consumption data came from a nutritional study specifically designed to assess the dietary intake of the main foodstuffs related to fumonisin contamination for all population age groups. In addition, two specific groups were selected with respect to maize consumption: immigrants and celiac sufferers. Contamination and consumption data were combined by simulation using an essentially parametric-parametric (P-P) method. The P-P method draws sampling values from distribution functions fitted to consumption and contamination datasets. Moreover, to quantify the accuracy and reliability of the statistical estimates, we built related confidence intervals using a Pseudo-Parametric bootstrap method. The results of this study show that fumonisins are commonly found in some commodities on the Catalonian market, such as beer, corn snacks and ethnic foods; however, the values were well below the permitted maximum EU levels. The most exposed group were infants followed by immigrants but, in all cases, they were below the TDI of 2 µg/kg bw/day.