ABSTRACT

The aim of the study was to determine the levels of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) and ochratoxin A (OTA) in durum wheat samples collected over six periods of time from two official warehouses (A and B) in Lebanon. The concentrations of AFB1 in wheat samples taken from both warehouses ranged from 1.05 to 7.36 μg/kg. Results showed that 23.3 and 25.3% of samples taken from warehouse A and warehouse B, respectively, had AFB1 levels >2 μg/kg. For OTA, the contamination level of wheat samples taken from warehouse A and warehouse B was 52.0 and 44.6%, respectively, with concentrations ranging from 0.51 to 9.71 μg/kg. The percentage of samples with high detectable OTA levels (>3 μg/kg) was 28.6 and 25.3% for wheat samples taken from warehouse A and warehouse B, respectively. Thus, the consumption of wheat and derived products in Lebanon can be considered hazardous and may present a significant risk to the health of the Lebanese population regarding the overall daily exposure to these mycotoxins.

HIGHLIGHTS
  • Mycotoxin levels in stored durum wheat samples were studied.

  • AFB1 levels were greater than the maximum permitted limit (2 μg/kg) in two warehouses.

  • OTA levels were greater than the maximum limit (>3 μg/kg) in two warehouses.

  • Contamination may increase with storage time.

  • Wheat and its derivative products in Lebanon may present significant health risk.

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