Even beer contains mycotoxins – Is nothing safe?


The growing popularity of craft beers has led to an extensive survey of 1000 beers (60% craft beers) from 47 countries screening for the presence of aflatoxin B1, ochratoxin A, zearalenone,  fumonisins, T-2 toxin, HT-2 toxins and deoxynivalenol (DON).  The results from Jeroen Peters and collaborators have been published in the journal

PLOS One https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0185887

The data from this survey is complex in that it covers a diverse range of types of beers including traditional African beers and a diversity of mycotoxins including conjugated toxins. Beers were screened with a research-based multiplex immunoassay with some cross-checking of results for 10% of selected samples by LC-MS/MS.  Aflatoxin B1 was found in some African beers and fumonisins in some Italian and Spanish beers where maize was partly used as a carbohydrate source. This survey reinforced conclusions by others as to the importance of the presence of DON and its conjugates in beer. For example, consumption of a 0.5 L bottle of beer/day would equal or exceed the Tolerable Daily Intake of 1 μg/kg body weight for DON for some 27 different beers which contained 140 μg/L or more of DON and conjugates.  These authors and others argue for regulating DON in beer, but also suggest that regulating DON in malt as well might offer a more effective control measure.  Although immunoaffinity columns were not used in this recent beer survey mentioned above, if regulations are extended to cover beer, a good quantitative method will be required that has been fully validated.

The R-Biopharm DON PREP® immunoaffinity column https://food.r-biopharm.com/products/donprep/ provides a simple quantitative method to extract DON from degassed beer prior to HPLC or LC-MS/MS analysis.  The antibody used in the column shows high cross-reactivity to 3-acetyl DON meaning that DON and its conjugate can be individually determined. The versatility of immunoaffinity columns easily enables quantitative analysis of DON contamination of malt, as a control of ingredient quality in brewing.  Other R-Biopharm immunoaffinity columns such as FUMONIPREP® and AFLAPREP® extend the range of mycotoxins that can be quantitatively measured in beer. 

For further information please contact : info@r-biopharmrhone.com

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