Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is an unavoidable food contaminant. To evaluate the potential health risk of AFB1 to Koreans posed by food consumption, we determined the natural occurrence of AFB1 in food and estimated the excess risk for liver cancer through dietary exposure to AFB1. A total of 694 food samples collected from six different regions of South Korea were analyzed for their AFB1 content. One hundred four of the 694 samples were found to give positive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) readings for AFB1 and were further investigated with high-performance liquid chromatography. Thirty-two samples, including 2 maize samples, 3 soybean products, 20 peanut samples, nut samples, and their products, and 7 spices, were found to be contaminated with AFB1 (4.6% incidence), up to 48.6 μgkg−1. The level of AFB1 contamination in 28 of the 32 food products was below 10 μgkg−1, which is the legal tolerance limit in Korea. From data on daily food consumption, the exposure dose of AFB1 was estimated to be 6.42 × 10−7 mg kg−1 body weight (bw) day−1. The major contributors to the dietary intake of AFB1 were soybean paste and soy sauce, which composed 91% of the total exposure to AFB1. The excess risk of liver cancer for those exposed to AFB1 through food intake was estimated to be 5.78 × 10−6 for hepatitis B–negative individuals and 1.48 × 10−4 for hepatitis B–positive individuals. These results suggest that special consideration is required to reduce the intake of AFB1 in hepatitis B–positive individuals.

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