The prevalence and risk assessment of aflatoxin in sesame based products

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Ali Heshmati
Mina Khorshidi
Amin Mousavi Khaneghah


mycotoxin; contamination; risk assessment; traditional products; sesame based


The contamination of aflatoxins (AFs) in 120 samples of sesame seeds, tahini, and tahini halva collected from Iran’s market were evaluated. The exposed risk due to ingestion of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) via their consumption was estimated with the aid of the Monte Carlo simulation (MCS). The highest prevalence of AF (55%) was associated with sesame seed samples, followed by tahini (45%) and tahini halva (32.5%). The AFB1 concentration in sesame seeds, tahini, and tahini halva was in the ranges of 0.21–12.35, 0.23–5.81, and 0.27–3.56 ?g/kg, respectively. The concentration of the total aflatoxin (TAF) in 7 (17.5%), 8 (20%), and 2 (5%) samples of sesame seeds, tahini, and tahini halva, respectively, was below the limit of European regulations (4 µg/kg), while the levels of AFB1 in 10 (25%), 7 (17.5%), and 6 (15%) samples of sesame seeds, tahini, and tahini halva, respectively, were higher than the European regulations (2 µg/kg). As the percentile 50 and 95 of margin of exposure (MOE) with AFB1 for sesame seed, tahini, and tahini halva was more than 10,000, it could conclude the intake of aflatoxin through the consumption of mentioned products did pose a not remarkable cancer risk for adults.

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