Theaflatoxin contamination of ground red pepper and pistachio nuts sold in Turkey

Author(s): Set E, Erkmen O


Total aflatoxin (AFT) and aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) contamination, pH and water activity, and mold and yeast counts in unpacked and packed ground red pepper (GRP) and pistachio nut have been studied from September 2008 to February 2009. 17.1% (14/82) and 23.1% (19/82) unpacked GRP were over AFT and AFB1 legal limits, respectively, while only one packed sample was over legal limit of AFB1 by 89.99 ppb. Both of AFT and AFB1 were detected in 50.5% (48/95) of unpacked pistachio nuts with the contamination levels ranging from 0.007 to 7.72 ppb. Mold and yeast counts in unpacked GRP and mold counts in unpacked pistachio nut were detected over legal limits with 5.9% (5/85) and 1.1% (1/95), respectively. These cases call attention to the importance of aflatoxin content in these foods and need strict prohibition in the use of batches containing aflatoxins.

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