Natural Contaminants in Infant Food: The Case of Regulated and Emerging Mycotoxins

Breast milk substitutes, e.g. infant formulae, are commonly introduced to the diet within the first months of life. As the infants detoxifying capability is not fully developed, it is of vital importance to minimize their exposure to food contaminants. Here, we present the first comprehensive multi-mycotoxin assessment in infant food. Samples (n=59) were screened for 46 mycotoxins and key metabolites using two complementary LC-MS/MS methods. Trace levels of 17 mycotoxins, including aflatoxin B1 (0.4 µg/kg), zearalenone (<2.3 µg/kg), deoxynivalenol (<131 µg/kg) and fumonisin B1 (<39 µg/kg) were detect-ed. Infant formulae were contaminated at lower levels compared to cereal-based products. Overall, the concentrations of most toxins were near or below their respective LOQ value. However, two raw flour samples exceeded the regulatory limit of aflatoxin B1 for infant foods. Interestingly, two toxins not reported previously, namely aflatoxicol and sterigmatocystin, were identified in 3 and 17% of infant foods, respectively.