Contamination of breakfast cereal products by fungi and mycotoxins - a potential risk for consumer's health
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The aim of research was assessment of breakfast cereal snacks available in trade for their contamination with fungi and selected mycotoxins in related to potential risk of consumers’ health. The contamination with fungi ranged from 1.3 x 101cfu g-1to 9.0 x 102cfu g-1. The most contaminated was muesli, that apart from cereal components comprised also dried fruit, nuts and coconut flakes. Species belonging to Aspergillus, Penicillium, Cladosporium, Rhizopus, Mucor, Chaetomium, Trichoderma, Eurotium and Fusarium genera were isolated as dominant. The isolated species included Aspergillus ochraceus, A. flavus, A. versicolor, A. sydowii, Penicillium verrucosum and Fusarium graminearum, which are well known as mycotoxin producers. None of the products was contaminated with aflatoxin B1. The presence of ochratoxin A exceeding of 3 ng g-1was discovered in 30% of samples. The contamination with deoxynivalenol equalled 587 ng g-1on average. This result indicates that the cereals products may form a serious source of exposure to mycotoxins, particularly for most vulnerable group, i.e. children.
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