Research – EFSA: Ochratoxin A in food likely poses health risk; licorice cited

Food Safety News

Ochratoxin A in food poses a health concern for most consumer groups, according to a European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) assessment.

Ochratoxin A (OTA) is a mycotoxin naturally produced by molds that can be found in foodss such as cereals, preserved meats, fresh and dried fruit, and cheese.

Data available since an opinion in 2006 suggest that OTA can be genotoxic by directly damaging the DNA and experts confirmed it can be carcinogenic to the kidney. OTA causes kidney toxicity in different animal species and kidney tumors in rodents.

The European Commission asked EFSA to update the 2006 opinion. In that work, a tolerable weekly intake (TWI) based on toxicity and carcinogenicity to the kidney of 120 nanograms per kilogram (ng/kg) of body weight was established.

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