Determination of ochratoxin a in coffee by ELISA method and its relationship with the physical, physicochemical and microbiological properties
BACKGROUND: Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages in the world; however, it may contain toxic compounds such as ochratoxin A (OTA). OBJECTIVES: Determine the OTA’s presence in different types of coffee, intended for beverage preparation and marketed in Colombia through the application of the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and analyze its relationship with the physical, physicochemical and microbiological properties. METHODS: 8 samples of coffee commercialized in the Colombian market were selected, in which the OTA content was determined by applying the ELISA method. Likewise, a microbiological analysis was performed, and physicochemical properties were determined, such as moisture content, aw, percentage total dissolved solids (%TDS), and extraction yield (%EY). Physical properties such as free-flow densities, compacted bulk densities (CBD), porosity, average particle size (ASP), and color. The data were treated with multivariate analysis using Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Cluster Analysis (CA) to quantitatively investigate the relationships between the coffee samples concerning their physical, physicochemical properties, and OTA content. LSD test was applied with a significance level of 95 % and Pearson correlation test. RESULTS: All the samples had OTA content, but only 2 exceeded the limits allowed by the regulations, with a maximum value of 15.449 µg/Kg, which represents 31.449 % of the tolerable daily intake according to the parameters defined by Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA). According to the PCA and CA, the samples were grouped harmonically according to the type of coffee associated with its commercial presentation and industrial process, OTA content, and ASP. OTA content was significantly and positively correlated (p < 0.05) with %EY, %TDS, ASP, porosity, CBD, and moisture. CONCLUSIONS: The coffees marketed in Colombia showed a variable range of OTA, where soluble coffees had higher OTA contents than roasted coffees, and 25 % of the coffees analyzed do not meet the levels defined by Colombian regulations. The OTA content in coffee is related to properties that define the ability to extract solutes from coffee.
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