Mycotoxins Exposure in Cabinda, Angola-A Pilot Biomonitoring Survey of Breastmilk

Duarte, S.; Silva, L.J.G.; Pereira, A.é M.P.T.; Gimbi, M.; Cesar, C.; Vidal, V.; Basílio, R.; Almeida, A.; Lino, C.; Pena, A.

Toxins 14(3)


ISSN/ISBN: 2072-6651
PMID: 35324701
Accession: 079780933

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Breast milk is considered the ideal form of nutrition for newborns and infants. However, it can carry over contaminants, namely mycotoxins, with biological effects to which this population is particularly vulnerable. Human biomonitoring and surveillance programs are particularly scarce in low-income countries, where food security is a more urgent priority in comparison with food safety. This pilot survey aims to assess exposure of breastfed infants to aflatoxin M1 (AFM1), zearalenone (ZEN), and ochratoxin A (OTA) in Angola, and to evaluate the main socio-demographical and food consumption determinants of lactating mothers. All 37 breast milk samples analyzed are found to be contaminated with ZEN and OTA, although none are found contaminated with AFM1. Contamination levels are lower than previously reported for ZEN but higher in the case of OTA. A significant association between ZEN levels in breast milk and the consumption of cookies by the lactating mothers is found. As for OTA, higher levels are observed in the milk from mothers with younger infants, for which high estimated daily intake (EDI) is determined. As far as the authors are aware, this is the first survey of the occurrence of mycotoxins in breast milk in Angola, so further human biomonitoring works should follow, given that mycotoxins are a global health issue that directly impact the health of populations.