Chemical Contaminants in the Food Chain
Food can be contaminated at any stage in the food chain. Contamination can occur in the naturally occurring product, it can be introduced by farming methods or in the industrial scale or from contamination during food processing and storage, during the distribution of our food for sales or it can be introduced on the plate when the food is ready for consumption.
- Al (Aluminium)
- As (Arsenic)
- Cd (Cadmium)
- Pb (Lead)
- Hg (Mercury)
- Sn (Tin)
- Cr (Chromium)
- Chromium Hexavalent
- Glycidyl esters & 3,2-MCPD esters in vegetable oil and food
- 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF)
- Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)
Other Chemical Contaminants
- Dioxins (PCDDs and PCDFs)
- Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) (Dioxin Like)
- Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) (Non Dioxin Like)
- Pentachlorophenol (PCP)
- Erucic acid
Mycotoxins in Cereals, Nuts & Milk
Mycotoxins are highly toxic substances produced by certain fungi such as aflatoxins are produced by Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus parasiticus, while Ochratoxin A by A. ochraceus and P. verrucosum. About 20% of the food may be contaminated with mycotoxins, the most important types of cereals, nuts, dried fruit, coffee, spices, vegetable oils, peas, beans, and fruits. Mycotoxins are also found in beer and wine as well as in foods of animal origin such as milk, cheese, egg, and due to the consumption of contaminated feeds. The main factors affecting the production of mycotoxins by the fungi is the temperature, the humidity, the pH and size of the infection.
- Ochratoxin A
- Aflatoxin Total
- Aflatoxin B1
- Aflatoxin M1
- Aflatoxin SC
- Fusarium toxins
- Deoxynivalenol ( DON )
Even small traces of allergenic proteins in food can provoke allergic reactions in sensitive groups of people. Therefore, monitoring of cross-contamination in raw material and during processing are an important part of quality control in the food industry. Our allergen detection methods can be used for confirmation of screening results.
Ingredients or substances with known allergenic potential include cereals containing gluten, milk and dairy products, eggs, nuts, peanuts, soy, fish, crustaceans, molluscs, celery, lupin, sesame, mustard and sulphites.
About 75% of allergic reactions among children are caused by egg, peanut, cows’ milk, fish and nuts. About 50% of allergic reactions among adults are to fruits of the latex group and of the Rosaceae family (which includes apples, pears cherries, raspberries, strawberries and almonds), vegetables of the Apiaceae family (which includes celery, carrots and aromatic herbs) and various nuts and peanuts.