Medicinal plants are often consumed as infusions with boiled water. Scarce information is available in the literature about the migration of mycotoxins into the resulting beverage and/or the effects of the infusion procedure on the final mycotoxin contents. The aim of the present study was to investigate the impact of the infusion process on mycotoxin contents during medicinal plant preparation. For this purpose, the contents of aflatoxins (AFs) [aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), aflatoxin B2 (AFB2), aflatoxin G1 (AFG1), aflatoxin G2 (AFG2)], zearalenone (ZEA), enniatins (ENNs) [enniatin B (ENNB), enniatin B1 (ENNB1), enniatin A (ENNA), enniatin A1 (ENNA1)] and beauvericin (BEA) were analyzed in 224 samples of medicinal plants and in their resulting beverages. The quick, easy, cheap, effective, rugged and safe extraction method (QuEChERS) was applied to the medicinal plants while the dispersive liquid-liquid microextraction procedure (DLLME) was applied to their infusions, and the mycotoxins were determined by liquid chromatography coupled to ion trap tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS-IT). The results revealed that ZEA, ENNB, ENNB1, AFB2, AFG1 and AFG2 were detected in the beverages with incidences of ≤6% and at concentrations from less than the limit of quantification (LOQ) to 82.2 μg/L. Mycotoxins reduction ranged from 74 to 100% after the infusion process. The risk assessment revealed that the estimated daily intakes (EDIs) obtained for ZEA, ENNB and ENNB1 were far below the tolerable daily intakes (TDIs) established.
Abstract published in Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, volume 75, pages 362–368 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11130-020-00820-4.