Natural occurrence of ochratoxin A in confined reared and grazing pigs derived products
Ochratoxin A (OTA) is a well-known nephrotoxic and immunotoxic mycotoxin occurring in several foods and feeds. OTA residues have been detected as a carryover in pigs and poultry meats. In this study samples of pigs fresh tissues (muscle, backfat) and processed meat products (seasoned muscle-coppa, seasoned backfat-lard, mortadella and salami) were obtained from pigs raised following two breeding systems: conventional production systems (indoor) and alternative pig rearing systems (free outdoor access). Pigs tissues and meat products samples were analysed for OTA content by means of an HPLC-FLD method. OTA was found in all pigs tissues and meat products at concentration lower than the Italian recommended maximum level of 1 mg/kg, only a sample of mortadella of indoor gropu showed a concentration very close to this limit. This study suggests that the contribution from pig fresh tissues to the total intake of the toxin is small if compared to other sources. However, the OTA occurrence in some derived products, such as mortadella, seems to be of some concern.