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Study of mycotoxin contamination in Italian and Tunisian aromatic herbs and spices

Spices and aromatic herbs can be contaminated with mycotoxins due to their pre-harvest, post-harvest and storage conditions.

Researchers from the University of Messina assessed the mycotoxin content of 112 samples from different species and aromatic herbs from Italy and Tunisia to highlight their possible risk linked with human use.

"Results showed that mycotoxins were occasionally identified only in coriander, bay, mint, rosemary and verbena samples. Different contamination types were detected in both geographical origins."

"AFB2, AFG1, AFG2, T2 and HT2 were the mycotoxins identified, while no sample contained AFB1 and FB1. The co-presence of two toxins was observed for a few rosemary and verbena samples. This study indicates that it is essential to reduce to a minimum toxins in agriculture, industry and in the production of food products in order to safeguard the health of consumers." 

Source: Potortì Angela Giorgia, Tropea Alessia, Lo Turco Vincenzo, Pellizzeri Vito, Belfita Asma, Dugo Giacomo, Di Bella Giuseppa, 'Mycotoxins in spices and culinary herbs from Italy and Tunisia', Aprile 2019, Natural Product Research.

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