Document Type : Original Article
1 Department of Nutrition and dietetic, University Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
2 Department of Nutrition and dietetic, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran
3 Tropical and Infection Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran
Ochratoxin A (OTA) is a mycotoxin produced by some species of fungi such as Aspergillus and Penicillium. It is found as a contaminant in a variety of animal and human foods. Ochratoxin A has teratogenic, hepatotoxic, nephrotoxic, nephrocarcinogenic and immunosuppressive effects on human and animals. This study was carried out to evaluate the content of ochratoxin A in non-alcoholic beers, which were randomly collected from different retail outlets. All samples were analyzed for ochratoxin A by ELISA. Identification of fungal isolates was based on both macroscopic characters (colony growth, colony diameter) and microscopic characters. The tease Mount technique was used in this study and the fungi were cultivated in YGC (yeast glucose chloramphenicol agar) medium. All of the samples were contaminated with ochratoxin A but the levels of the contamination were below the maximum permitted levels. However, the difference between local and imported beer samples was not statistically significant (p>0.05). The mycological survey showed that 100% of domestic and imported beer samples were contaminated with Aspergillus, while 31.4% of the domestic and 40% of the imported beer samples were contaminated with Penicillium. Among the Aspergillus species, the most representative specie was Aspergillus niger. Although the ochratoxin A concentrations of non-alcoholic beers were under the European maximum permitted levels, the long-term continual consumption may have considerable health problem despite the low levels of contamination.
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