Mycotoxins, pesticides and toxic metals in commercial spices and herbs

Food Addit Contam Part B Surveill. 2017 Mar;10(1):5-14. doi: 10.1080/19393210.2016.1210244. Epub 2016 Oct 18.

Abstract

A total of 300 samples representing six condiments (black pepper, basil, oregano, nutmeg, paprika, and thyme) were analysed for 11 mycotoxins, 134 pesticides and 4 heavy metals by ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-tandem quadrupole mass spectrometry and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Mycotoxins were detected in 4%, 10% and 30% of all nutmeg, basil and thyme samples, respectively. The residues of 24 pesticides were detected in 59% of the analysed condiments. The maximum residue levels of pesticides were exceeded in 10% of oregano and 46% of thyme samples. A risk assessment of heavy metals was performed, indicating daily intake levels far below the tolerable intake levels.

Keywords: HPLC-QqQ-MS/MS; ICP-MS; Spices; herbs; maximum residue limits; mycotoxins; pesticide residues; regression analysis; toxic metals.

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Commerce
  • Diet
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis*
  • Food Contamination / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Metals, Heavy / analysis*
  • Mycotoxins / analysis*
  • Myristica
  • Ocimum basilicum
  • Origanum
  • Pesticide Residues / analysis*
  • Pesticides
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Plants, Edible / chemistry*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Seeds / chemistry
  • Spices / analysis*
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry
  • Thymus Plant

Substances

  • Metals, Heavy
  • Mycotoxins
  • Pesticide Residues
  • Pesticides