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Influence of post·harvest processing on ochratoxin A content in cocoa and on consumer exposure in Cameroon

Mounjouenpou P., Gueule D., Ntoupka M., Durand N., Fontana-Tachon A., Guyot B., Guiraud J.P.. 2011. World Mycotoxin Journal, 4 (2) : p. 141-146.

Ochratoxin A (OTA) is a mycotoxin that contaminates several foodstuffs, including cocoa. Il has nephrotoxic, teratogenic and carcinogenic properties in humans. The effect of post-harvest processing and storage on the OTA contamination of cocoa was studied over three successive cocoa seasons (2005, 2006 and 2007) in Cameroon. The type of fermentation (box or heap) did not significantly influence bean OTA content, whieh varied from undetectable "0.03 ng/g) to 0.25 ng/g, remaining below 2 ng/g (lbe defined standard for cocoa beans). However, pod damage and late pod opening were aggravating factors for OTA contamination of cocoa. If pods were not intact (inténtionallyor naturally damaged), OTAwas found in samples wilb contents of up to 75.5 ng/g before processing and 32.2 ng/g aiter 4 monlbs' storage. This contamination exceeded lbe levels tolerated for export.ln addition, sorne of the cocoa produced is processed locally and consumed as chocolate, cocoa powder, chocolate filled sweets, cocoabased drinks and cocoa butter. ln Cameroon, lbe average daily consumption of cocoa by-products is estimated at 0.75 g/d for adults and 1 g/d for children. Consequently, for maximum OTA contamination of cocoa beans, lbe maximum daily exposure to OTA would be 1.61 ng/kg bw/d in young children weighing around 20 kg, greatly contributing to the exposure ofyoung consumers. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : consommation alimentaire; traitement; ochratoxine; chocolat; cacao en poudre; fève de cacao; cameroun

Thématique : Contamination et toxicologie alimentaires; Traitement et conservation des produits alimentaires

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