Heavy beer drinkers face risk of exposure to ‘deadly’ mycotoxins

Washington: Drinking over a litre of beer everyday can expose you to deadly mycotoxins, claims a new study.

University of Valencia researchers analysed the mycotoxins produced by certain microscopic fungi in 154 brands of beer sold in Europe and dried fruits, such as figs and raisins, confirming that these products meet food regulations.

Mycotoxins are toxic metabolites produced by fungi that contaminate fruits, cereals and derivative products.

The average concentrations of DON and HT-2 detected in beers approached 30 µg/L. There is no maximum legal limit of mycotoxins in these drinks, but in general this value is considered low if compared to the maximum DON limit established by EU legislation for cereal-based foods, set at 200 µg DON/kg.

The study highlights that in people who drink a lot of beer, the contribution of these harmful substances to daily intake “is not negligible, approaching or even exceeding the safety levels.”

One litre a day of the brands of beer that showed the highest contamination levels contains deoxynivalenol equivalent to 60 percent of the maximum TDI, and the safety levels for HT-2 would be exceeded, said the scientists.


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