Ochratoxin A: Occurrence and carry-over in meat and meat by-products. A Review

Tolosa, J., Ruiz, MJ., Ferrer, E., Vila-Donat, P.

Abstract: Mycotoxins are common toxic metabolites present in cereals and vegetal raw materials, which are commonly included in animal feed. Ochratoxin A (OTA) has generally been detected in plant origin foodstuffs such as cereals, coffee, dried fruits, nuts, among others. However, it has been also detected in meat and meat by-products, especially those derived from pork, which is the most sensitive specie to OTA exposure. The exposure of farm animals to mycotoxins could lead to undesirable residues in food products of animal origin, which constitute an important part of daily diets. Thus, although contents reported in animal by-products are lower than those reported in products of vegetal origin, there is also a public health concern about the possible ingestion of edible animal products contaminated by mycotoxins, as their entry into the food chain may cause adverse effects on human health. No maximum levels have been set for OTA in animal by-products, although its presence in meat and meat products made from contaminated raw materials has been widely reported, reaching high levels in some cases. This review summarizes the state-of-the-art on the occurrence and the carry-over of OTA in meat products, especially focused on the last years.

Keywords: Ochratoxin A; meat; animal derived food; carry-over