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Alternaria Toxins

Alternaria toxins: EU publishes monitoring recommendations!

Alternaria toxins belong to the mycotoxins. They are naturally produced by certain fungi of the Alternaria genus, e.g. B. A. alternata formed. Above all, these molds cause plant diseases on numerous plants, but they also produce toxins, some of which have a genotoxic effect. According to the current state of knowledge, only a few of the more than 70 different secondary metabolites formed by Alternaria species are found in food. These include alternariol (AOH), alternariol monomethyl ether (AME), tentoxin, tenuazonic acid (TeA), altertoxins and stemphyltoxin III. ( Source )

In amendment to the recommendation (EU) 2022/553 on monitoring the presence of Alternaria toxins in food (Source), and Waren-Verein circular no. 2021-305 (Source), both the EU Member companies and food business operators have to submit their testing results of the products named below to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) by June 30, 2022 for the previous year. 

The product categories to be monitored annually by the authorities to identify factors leading to the presence of Alternaria toxins in products include nuts, dried figs, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, Sunflower oil, processed tomato products, and paprika powder. These products are included in the monitoring due to their conspicuously high levels in the EFSA database.

Indicative levels of the EU-recommendation

Indicative level for alternariol, alternariol monomethyl ether and tenuazonic acid in certain foods, based on the available data in the EFSA database, above which investigations should be performed, on the factors leading to the presence of Alternaria toxins or on the effect of food processing. The indicative levels are not food safety levels.

Food Alternariol (AOH) (μg/kg) Alternariol monomethyl ether (AME) (μg/kg) Tenuazonic acid (TeA) (μg/kg)
Processed tomato products
10
5
500
Paprika powder
-
-
10,000
Sesame seeds
30
30
100
Sunflower seeds
30
30
1000
Sunflower oil
10
10
100
Tree nuts
-
-
100
Dried figs
-
-
1000
Cereal based foods for infants and young children
2
2
500

The following determination limits apply to the monitoring:

  • AOH, AME: max. 2 μg/kg each for processed cereal-based food,
    max. 4 μg/kg each for other foods
  • TEA: max. 20 μg/kg for all foods.

Please also note the information on the sampling procedure in the recommendation, which is product-specific based on the general sampling for mycotoxins.

In GALAB laboratories, we routinely check for Alternaria toxin and other mycotoxins, e.g. aflatoxins and ochratoxin A in products. Our reports are aligned with the requirement of European authorities and can accuratly determine possible Alternaria Toxins Contamination in food products.

Our customer advisors will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Contact us for more information.

 

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