Mycotoxins in coffee and chicory: from regulated to emergent

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I.B. Sedova, M.G. Kiseleva, Z.A. Chalyy


Federal Research Centre of Nutrition, Biotechnology and Food Safety, 2/14 Ustinskiy proezd, Moscow, 109240, Russian Federation


Coffee is a daily basic food product for many people all over the world. In Russia and some European countries, people who try to pursue healthy lifestyle often prefer chicory as a substitute to coffee. Our research goal was to evaluate occurrence of Aspergillus, Penicillium, Fusarium and Alternaria secondary metabolites in coffee and chicory distributed on the RF market.

29 mycotoxins were determined in 48 samples of coffee and chicory using ultra high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass-spectrometric detection (UHPLC-MS/MS).

The range of analyzed contaminants included regulated mycotoxins (aflatoxins, ochratoxin A, deoxynivalenol, fumonisins, T-2 toxin, and zearalenone), their derivatives and structural analogs (A and B trichothecenes), Alternaria metabolites (alternariol, its methyl ether, altenuene, tentoxin), citrinin and several emergent mycotoxins (citreoviridin, cyclopiazonic and mycophenolic acids, enniatins, beauvericin).

To the best of our knowledge, the present study is the first to report results indicating that unregulated emergent mycotoxins occur in the examined products. Chicory samples contained beauvericin (9 of 16 samples, the contents varied from 2.4 to 1173 µg/kg) and enniatin B (6 of 16 samples, 2.8–1109 µg/kg). Green and roasted coffee samples contained mycophenolic acid (11 of 20 samples, 23.5–58.3 µg/kg; 3 of 12 samples, 155.7–712.2 µg/kg accordingly). Several samples were contaminated with aflatoxins, ochratoxin A and fumonisin B2. Their contents in the examined samples did not exceed maximum levels; however, their occurrence indicates a potential health risk for consumers. This requires hygienic assessment and monitoring of these products with the focus on their contamination not only with regulated aflatoxin B1 and ochratoxin A but also with other potentially hazardous mycotoxins.

mycotoxins, emergent mycotoxins, coffee, chicory, ochratoxin А, aflatoxins, contamination, UHPLC-MS/MS
Sedova I.B., Kiseleva M.G., Chalyy Z.A. Mycotoxins in coffee and chicory: from regulated to emergent. Health Risk Analysis, 2022, no. 2, pp. 64–72. DOI: 10.21668/health.risk/2022.2.06.eng
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