Indexed on: 27 Jul '01Published on: 27 Jul '01Published in: Food additives and contaminants
During 1996, 161 samples of milk, 92 samples of dry milk for infant formula and 120 samples of yoghurt, were randomly collected in supermarkets and drug stores in four big Italian cities, and checked for aflatoxin M1 (AFM1) by immunoaffinity column extraction and HPLC. AFM1 was detected in 125 (78%) of milk samples (ranging from < 1 ng/l to 23.5 ng/l; mean level: 6.28 ng/l), in 49 (53%) of dry milk samples (ranging from <1 ng/l to 79.6 ng/kg; mean level: 32.2 ng/kg) and in 73 (61%) of yoghurt samples (ranging from <1 ng/kg to 32.1 ng/kg; mean level: 9.06 ng/kg). Altogether, only four samples of dry milk were over the legal limits established by the EC in 1999. It is concluded that during 1996, despite the widespread occurrence of AFM1, mean contamination levels in dairy products sold in Italy were not a serious human health hazard.