Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 498469
Title Pyrrolizidine and tropane alkaloids in teas and the herbal teas peppermint, rooibos and chamomile in the Israeli market
Author(s) Shimshoni, Jakob Avi; Duebecke, Arne; Mulder, Patrick P.J.; Cuneah, Olga; Barel, Shimon
Source Food Additives & Contaminants. Pt. A, Chemistry, Analysis, Control, Exposure & Risk Assessment 32 (2015)12. - ISSN 1944-0049 - p. 2058 - 2067.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/19440049.2015.1087651
Department(s) RIKILT - Business unit Contaminants & Toxins
VLAG
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2015
Keyword(s) herbal tea - LC-MS/MS - pyrrolizidine alkaloids - tea - tropane alkaloids
Abstract

Dehydro pyrrolizidine alkaloids (dehydro PAs) are carcinogenic phytotoxins prevalent in the Boraginaceae, Asteraceae and Fabaceae families. Dehydro PAs enter the food and feed chain by co-harvesting of crops intended for human and animal consumption as well as by carry-over into animal-based products such as milk, eggs and honey. Recently the occurrence of dehydro PAs in teas and herbal teas has gained increasing attention from the EU, due to the high levels of dehydro PAs found in commercially available teas and herbal teas in Germany and Switzerland. Furthermore, several tropane alkaloids (TAs, e.g. scopolamine and hyoscyamine) intoxications due to the consumption of contaminated herbal teas were reported in the literature. The aim of the present study was to determine the dehydro PAs and TAs levels in 70 pre-packed teabags of herbal and non-herbal tea types sold in supermarkets in Israel. Chamomile, peppermint and rooibos teas contained high dehydro PAs levels in almost all samples analysed. Lower amounts were detected in black and green teas, while no dehydro PAs were found in fennel and melissa herbal teas. Total dehydro PAs concentrations in chamomile, peppermint and rooibos teas ranged from 20 to 1729 μg/kg. Except for black tea containing only mono-ester retrorsine-type dehydro PAs, all other teas and herbal teas showed mixed patterns of dehydro PA ester types, indicating a contamination by various weed species during harvesting and/or production. The TA levels per teabag were below the recommended acute reference dose; however, the positive findings of TAs in all peppermint tea samples warrant a more extensive survey. The partially high levels of dehydro PAs found in teas and herbal teas present an urgent warning letter to the regulatory authorities to perform routine quality control analysis and implement maximum residual levels for dehydro PAs.

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