Mycotoxin contamination of fresh berries and fruits marketed in the central region of Russia

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I.B. Sedova1, Z.A. Chalyy1, N.R. Efimochkina1, I.E. Sokolov1, V.А. Koltsov2, T.V. Zhidekhina2, S.A. Sheveleva1, V.A. Tutelyan1,3


1Federal Research Centre of Nutrition, Biotechnology and Food Safety, 2/14 Ustinskii proezd, Moscow, 109240, Russian Federation
2I.V. Michurin Federal Research Centre, 30 Michurin Str., Michurinsk, 393774, Russian Federation
3I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, 8 Trubetskaya Str., bldg 2, Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation


New emerging strains of toxigenic molds in agricultural areas and insufficient data on levels of their toxic metabolites occurring in domestic horticultural fruits and berries require risk assessment of MT contamination for this plant group of mass consumer products.
This study concentrated on samples of fresh fruits and berries sold on the consumer market (185 samples, including 127 intact and 58 with signs of deformation and molding). We applied our own developed technique for quantification of mycotoxins based on HPLC-MS/MS.
In this study, we were the first in the RF to examine contamination of garden strawberries, raspberries, currants, huck-leberries, blueberries, gooseberries, dogwood, plums, blackthorn, apples, pears) with 27 MT including poorly studied emergent MT (EMT), produced by Aspergillus, Penicillium, Fusarium and Alternaria.
Strawberries, gooseberries, black currants and raspberries turned out to be the most contaminated with MT; red currants, apples and pears were less contaminated. The greatest variety of MT and EMT species was found in strawberries (23 MT), gooseberries (8 MT), black currants (7 MT) and raspberries (6 MT).
Among the regulated MT, fumonisins B1 and B2, deoxynivalenol, zearalenone, T-2 toxin, ochratoxin A and aflatoxin B1 were detected in intact strawberries; patulin, in raspberries; deoxynivalenol and zearalenone, in black currant. As for damaged and moldy berries and fruits, the list of detectable toxins was expanded, primarily due to the detection of several types of unregulated EMTs. EMT tenuazonic acid was mainly detected in moldy berries; its levels increased manifold in almost all species, except for strawberries in which penicillic acid prevailed.
These new data on MT contamination in fruits and berries indicate the necessity to perform in-depth hygienic assessment of such products sold on the Russian market to identify MT, EMT and their producers. The obtained results will be used to identify hazards at the first stage in risk assessment with its focus on MT and EMT contamination of fresh fruits and berries.

mycotoxins, emergent mycotoxins, strawberry, raspberry, contamination, HPLC-MS/MS
Sedova I.B., Chalyy Z.A., Efimochkina N.R., Sokolov I.E., Koltsov V.А., Zhidekhina T.V., Sheveleva S.A., Tutelyan V.A. Mycotoxin contamination of fresh berries and fruits marketed in the central region of Russia. Health Risk Analysis, 2022, no. 4, pp. 87–99. DOI: 10.21668/health.risk/2022.4.08.eng
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