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Food Chem Toxicol. 2007 May;45(5):812-6. Epub 2006 Nov 7.

Incidence of aflatoxins in Iran pistachio nuts.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, University of Baqiyatallah Medical Sciences, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran.


Aflatoxins (AF) are highly toxic and carcinogenic secondary fungal metabolites and have been detected in various food commodities including pistachio nuts. Pistachio nuts were produced in Iran during March 2002-February 2003 analyzed for aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), aflatoxin B2 (AFB2), aflatoxin G1 (AFG1) and aflatoxin G2 (AFG2) using immunoaffinity column and quantitated by HPLC and/or TLC-scanner. In this regard, 3356 pistachio nut samples were collected. After dividing samples to sub-samples, 10,068 AF analyses were done. Among 10,068 samples analyzed, AFB1 was detected in 3699 samples (36.7% of the total) with the mean and median of 5.9 (+/-41.7) ng/g and 0.1 ng/g, respectively. Total AF (AFT) was detected in 2852 samples (28.3% of the total) with the mean and median of 7.3 (+/-53.2)ng/g and 0.4 ng/g, respectively. AFB1 level in 1191 samples (11.8%) was above the maximum tolerated level (MTL) of AFB1 in pistachio nut in Iran (5 ng/g). Regarding AFT, the mean contamination level (7.3 ng/g) was lower than MTL of AFT in pistachio nut in Iran as well as lower than the proposed draft maximum level of Codex Committee on Food Additives and Contaminants for AFT (15 ng/g), and only 7.5% of samples had levels above the MTL.

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