Dietary exposure of the Qatari population to food mycotoxins and reflections on the regulation limits

Toxicol Rep. 2019 Sep 24;6:975-982. doi: 10.1016/j.toxrep.2019.09.009. eCollection 2019.


The article estimates the exposure of the population of Qatar to aflatoxins, fumonisins and ochratoxins, measured in food samples collected from the markets of Doha. The mycotoxin extractions were performed using the "Quick Easy Cheap Effective Rugged Safe" Method (QuEChERS) and the extract measured with LC-MS/MS. High contamination with aflatoxins was detected in Nuts and Spices (e.g. 534.15 ng/g and 371.6 ng/g respectively). The estimated daily intake (EDI) level was estimated using statistical data on average Qatari population. Additionally, the probability to exceed TDI was calculated for fumonisins and ochratoxins. The results indicate high exposure to aflatoxins (with alarming values of margin of exposure, i.e. MoE). The article points to the necessity of a regular assessment and reevaluation of the concentration limits allowed in food products accounting for statistics on the population (i.e. food consumption), economic growth of the country, and monitoring of mycotoxin contamination of food as much as technological, financial and human resources of a country allows.

Keywords: Aflatoxin; Fumonisin; Margin of exposure; Mycotoxin; Ochratoxin; Risk assessment; Tolerable daily intake.