Exposure assessment to ochratoxin A in Catalonia (Spain) based on the consumption of cereals, nuts, coffee, wine, and beer

Food Addit Contam Part A Chem Anal Control Expo Risk Assess. 2012;29(6):979-93. doi: 10.1080/19440049.2012.660708. Epub 2012 Mar 7.


Ochratoxin A (OTA) was analysed in composite samples of cereal-based baby foods, beer, breakfast cereals (corn- and rice and wheat-based), loaf bread, peanuts and pistachios. Foodstuffs were collected in hypermarkets and supermarkets from 12 cities in the Spanish region of Catalonia, and composite samples were prepared for analysis involving liquid-liquid extraction, followed by immunoaffinity column clean-up and HPLC with fluorescence detection. Consumption data for the selected foodstuffs were collected by means of a food-frequency questionnaire. The studied population was grouped by age in infants, children, adolescents and adults; and exposure to OTA through the specified foodstuffs, and through wine and coffee, was assessed. Exposure assessment was done through deterministic and probabilistic modelling of the contamination and consumption data. OTA occurrence and mean of positive samples (ng g(-1) or ng ml(-1), for beer) were the following: 8.7% and 0.233 in baby foods; 88.7% and 0.022 in beer; 2.8% and 0.728 in corn-based breakfast cereals; 25% and 0.293 in wheat-based breakfast cereals; 12.9% and 0.283 in loaf bread; 41.7% and 0.241 in peanuts; and 2.9% and 0.228 in pistachios. The median estimated daily intake of OTA through the foodstuffs by each age group were below the latest provisional tolerable daily intakes (PTDIs) of 17 and 14 ng kg(-1) bw day(-1) recommended by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in 2006 and the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) in 2007, respectively, ranging from 1% and 2% of those values in adolescents and children, to 3% and 11% in adults and infants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Beer / analysis
  • Beverages / analysis*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chromatography, Affinity
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Coffee / chemistry
  • Diet*
  • Edible Grain / chemistry*
  • Environmental Exposure*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Limit of Detection
  • Male
  • Nuts / chemistry*
  • Ochratoxins / analysis*
  • Probability
  • Spain
  • Wine / analysis
  • Young Adult


  • Coffee
  • Ochratoxins
  • ochratoxin A