Capsicum is a genus of the Solanaceae family, indigenous to south and central America, today cultivated all over the world. (1). Especially red hot pepper is one of the most favoured spice in Calabria region where is commonly used for flavouring, seasoning and colouring a lot of traditional foods. Is well known that spices are one of most contaminated products from mycotoxins, a group of chemical substances produced by some fungal species mainly belonging to Aspergillus sections Flavi and Circumdati and Nigri and genus Penicillum and Fusarium (2). The aim of this study was to determine the occurence of aflatoxins B1+B2+G1+G2 (Afs) and ochratoxin A (OTA) levels in 44 samples of red pepper powder commercialized in Calabria, using HPLC with fluorescence detector. The analyzed sample are red hot pepper and red pepper from different geographical origin (Hungary, France, Turkey, India, Morocc, Italy and not specified origin). Only 8% of analyzed samples were contaminated by Afs. Among these only 3 samples showed an unacceptable contamination levels higher than the maximum tolerable limit (10 μgkg-1) ranging from 27.75 to 38 μgkg-1. One of them showed an AFB1 level of 25.25 μgkg-1, five times higher than the maximum tolerable limit for this aflatoxin (5 μgkg-1). 22 of 44 pepper samples (50%) were contaminated with OTA, classified by IARC Group 2B - Possible carcinogenic to humans. Until 2006 no legal limit for OTA existed; with Reg. CE n. 105/2010 has been introduced a legal limit of 30μg/kg for OTA in Capsicum spp., from 1.7.2010 to 30.6.2012 and, after this date, the final legal limit will be 15μg/kg. Although this regulation doesn’t apply to products sold before 1st july 2010, in this study the reference limit chosen for OTA was 30µg/kg. In 22 red peppers samples (50%) the OTA contamination level was below the LOD; 50% of analyzed samples shown OTA contamination, of these, 14% of the samples, including those of unknown origin, were above 30 μg/kg (from 31,07 to 36,28 µg/kg) while 4 samples contamination level was below the LOQ. In general, red hot pepper samples showed a total AFs and OTA contamination level lower then red pepper probably due to inhibition of capsaicinoid on fungal proliferation. The high incidence of contamination in samples of unknown origin suggests that should be required stricter label legislation for spices providing the indication of origin of raw material to ensure consumer health (3) and quality of food products which are ingredients.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.