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Single-compound and cumulative risk assessment of mycotoxins present in breakfast cereals consumed by children from Lisbon region, Portugal

Assunção, Ricardo, Vasco, Elsa, Nunes, Baltazar, Loureiro, Susana, Martins, Carla, Alvito, Paula
Food and chemical toxicology 2015 v.86 pp. 274-281
aflatoxin B1, breakfast cereals, children, cumulative risk assessment, fumonisins, humans, ochratoxin A, risk, toxicology, trichothecenes, Portugal
Humans can be exposed to multiple chemicals, but current risk assessment is usually carried out on one chemical at a time. Mycotoxins are commonly found in a variety of foods including those intended to consumption by children namely breakfast cereals. The present study aims to perform, the risk assessment of single and multiple mycotoxins present in breakfast cereals consumed by children (1–3 years old) from Lisbon region, Portugal. Daily exposure of children to ochratoxin A, fumonisins and trichothecenes showed no health risks to the children population considering individual mycotoxins, while exposure to aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) suggested a potential health concern for the high percentiles of intake (P90, P95 and P99). The combined exposure to fumonisins and trichothecenes are not expected to be of health concern. The combined margin of exposure (MoET) for the aflatoxins group could constitute a potential health concern and AFB1 was the main contributor for MoET. Legal limits and control strategies regarding the presence of multiple mycotoxins in foodstuffs is an urgent need. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time a cumulative risk assessment was performed on multiple mycotoxins present in breakfast cereals consumed by children.