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Food Chem Toxicol. 2006 Sep;44(9):1449-54. Epub 2006 May 11.

Estimation of ochratoxin A in portuguese population: new data on the occurrence in human urine by high performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection.

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  • 1Group of Bromatology, Centre of Pharmaceutical Studies, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Coimbra, Rua do Norte, 3000 Coimbra, Portugal. apena@ci.uc.pt


With increasing knowledge of the persistence of OTA in the food chain, exposure to this mycotoxin is a potential human health hazard to humans, and evaluating its presence in populations has become highly important. A sensitive and accurate analytical method for the determination of ochratoxin A in urine was validated, since is less invasive than blood monitoring. It involves extraction with 5% NaHCO3, immunoaffinity column (IAC) for clean-up and high performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection (HPLC-FD). The limit of quantification was 0.02 ng/mL of urine (1.3 ng/mL of the extract injected) and recovery of ochratoxin A from urine samples spiked at the three fortification levels, were higher than 90% with RSD lower than 9%. The identification of OTA was confirmed by methyl ester derivatization and then HPLC analysis. Based in ours first results we can assume that OTA conjugation with glucuronic acid in human urine occurs. In the present study, we follow up OTA levels in 60 urine samples of inhabitants from Coimbra city, Portugal, in order to evaluate population contamination, and the presence of OTA was found in 42 samples, at concentrations above the LOQ, ranged between 0.021 and 0.105 ng/mL.

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