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Dietary exposure and risk assessment for aflatoxins in New Zealand

Abstract

Aflatoxin concentration data for a range of foods available in New Zealand (maize products, nuts and nut products, dried fruits and spices) were combined with dietary recall food consumption information from New Zealand national nutrition surveys to derive exposure estimates for a range of age-gender groups. Mean exposure estimates for total aflatoxins ranged from 0.09-0.11 ng/kg body weight/day for adult females, to 0.32-0.39 ng/kg body weight/ day for 5-10 year old children. Spices were the major contributors to dietary exposure for all population subgroups, followed by nuts and nut products. However, the contribution of spices to total dietary exposure could be traced to a single sample with a very high concentration. A life-time weighted average aflatoxin exposure was derived for New Zealand males and females and was combined with cancer potency estimates to give an assessment of risk. The mean risk equates to a potential for less than one excess cancer every 10 years.

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