Date of Award

12-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Environmental Science

First Advisor

Afaf Kamal-Eldin

Second Advisor

Reyad Shaker Obaid

Third Advisor

Ibrahim Bela!

Abstract

Aflatoxins (AF) are toxic secondary metabolites secreted by the fungi Aspergillus or Penicillium. Four aflatoxins (AFB1, AFB2, AFG1 and AFG2) are common in foods and feeds produced or stored under unfavorable conditions of humidity and temperature AFB1 is considered the most toxic.

Spices are significant ingredients in the UAE cuisine, used for the purpose of seasoning, coloring, and flavoring. In this research, 94 samples of spices (including pepper, chili, coriander, fennel seeds, paprika, turmeric, zataria, and mixed spices) purchased from different markets in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, were analyzed for their contents of AF. Sample were analyzed using high-performance liquid chromatographic (HPLC) system, coupled with fluorescence detector. The results showed that only one paprika sample contained a level higher than the permissible limit set by the Ministry of Environment and Water (15 μg/Kg), while five other samples contained 4.3-6.7 μg/Kg of total AF. These levels are actually low compared to what was found in other countries having the same climate as the UAE. This may be due to the strict regulations implemented in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi on the process of food importation, storage and handling.

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