Alkaloid biotoxins

The EFSA is very interested in alkaloid biotoxins and has requested scientific opinions for ergot alkaloids (EA) in food, and for tropane and pyrrolizidine alkaloids (TA and PA) in feed; an opinion on EA in feed has been completed showing that there is a lack of data on EA patterns in feed materials and on toxic effects [29]. In particular ergotamine and ergocristine are of concern. PA are widespread and can be found in many plant genera and therefore also in feed, food and herbs, jacobine and lycopsamine being the most abundant. TA, such as atropine and scopolamine, are mainly found in feed as contaminants from Datura species. Plants producing TA have expanded dramatically in parts of Europe and problems are emerging. Data on the sensitivity of animal species towards the alkaloids are incomplete and do not allow the establishment of tolerance levels for individual alkaloids and mixtures thereof; nevertheless the data available so far indicate that adverse effects may occur in animals. The very limited and often incomplete data on tissue distribution and residual concentrations in edible tissues, milk and eggs do not allow an estimation of carry-over rates to food for human consumption. Data on human exposure and sensitivity towards the alkaloids are very incomplete and do not allow the establishment of tolerance levels for individual alkaloids and mixtures thereof.

No harmonized methods are available yet, although different suggestions ranging from ELISA to thin layer chromatography (TLC) and LC/MS/MS can be found in literature [30]. A general issue in the determination of these alkaloids is a lack of reliable analytical standards, (certified) reference materials, proficiency schemes and a lack of harmonized regulation.

0 0

Post a comment