Mycotoxins in spices and culinary herbs from Italy and Tunisia

Spices and aromatic herbs can be contaminated with mycotoxins, since of their preharvest, postharvest, and storage conditions. In this study, 112 samples of different spices and aromatic herbs were evaluated for their mycotoxins content by HPLC-MS/MS in order to highlight their possible risk linked with human use. The results showed that mycotoxins were occasionally detected only in samples of coriander, laurel, mint, rosemary, and verbena. In both geographical origins a different contamination was detected. Among the investigated mycotoxins, AFB2, AFG1, AFG2, T2 and HT2 were detected, whereas none of the samples contained AFB1 and FB1. The co-occurrence of two toxins were observed for some samples of rosemary and verbena. This study indicates that it is essential minimize the toxins in agriculture, industry, and food-product manufacturing for the consumer health protection.