Evaluation of Aflatoxin M1 enrichment factor in different cow milk cheese hardness category

  • Ivan Pecorelli Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell’Umbria e delle Marche “Togo Rosati”, Perugia, Italy.
  • Raffaella Branciari Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Perugia, Italy.
  • Rossana Roila | rossana.roila@studenti.unipg.it Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Perugia, Italy.
  • David Ranucci Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Perugia, Italy.
  • Rita Bibi Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell’Umbria e delle Marche “Togo Rosati”, Perugia, Italy.
  • Mariska van Asselt Department of Applied Research, Aeres University of Applied Sciences Dronten, Netherlands.
  • Andrea Valiani Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell’Umbria e delle Marche “Togo Rosati”, Perugia, Italy.


Aflatoxin M1 (AFM1) is a hepatocarcinogenic and genotoxic derivative of aflatoxin B1 excreted into milk after ingestion of feed contaminated by Aspergillus genus fungi. Because of the important role of dairy products, especially cow cheese, in the human diet, there is great concern about the presence of AFM1 in this food category. EC Regulation No. 1881/2006 establishes the importance of the enrichment factor (EF), an essential parameter that must be defined in order to evaluate the maximum level of the toxin in cheese aiming to ensure that cheese has been produced from compliant milk. The Italian Ministry of Health has established two provisional AFM1 EFs (5.5 and 3.0) to be applied to as many cheese categories (hard and soft), defined according to the moisture content on a fat free basis (MFFB) classification. Two experimental productions of Primosale and Fior di Latte cheese, both belonging to the soft cheese category, showed an EF of 4.1 and 2.9 respectively. Data in literature also suggest that the EF attribution based on the current categorization may need reconsideration.



PlumX Metrics


Download data is not yet available.


Blanco JL, Domínguez L, Gómezlucía E, Garayzabal JFF, Goyache J, and Suárez G, 1988. Behavior of aflatoxin during the manufacture, ripening and storage of Manchego‐type cheese. J. Food Sci. 53:1373–1388. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2621.1988.tb09280.x

Brackett RE, Marth EH, 1982a. Association of aflatoxin M1 with casein. Z. Lebensm. Unters. Forsch. 174:439–441. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01042721

Brackett RE, Marth E H, 1982b. Fate of aflatoxin M1 in parmesan and mozzarella cheese. J. Food Prot. 45:597–600. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4315/0362-028X-45.7.597

Brackett RE, Applebaum RS, Wiseman DW, Marth EH, 1982. Fate of aflatoxin M1 in Brick and Limburger-like cheese. J. Food Prot. 45:553–556. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4315/0362-028X-45.6.553

Branciari R, Mughetti L, Ranucci D, Miraglia D, Valiani A, Acuti G, Selvaggini R, Trabalza-Marinucci M, 2014. Influence of manufacturing procedure on the compositional and sensory properties of n-3 fatty acid-enriched pecorino cheese. J. Dairy Res. 81: 455-461. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S002202991400048X

Campagnollo FB,Ganev KC, Khaneghah AM, Portela JB, Cruz AG, Granato D, Corrassin CH, Oliveira C AF, Sant’Ana AS, 2016. The occurrence and effect of unit operations for dairy products processing on the fate of aflatoxin M1: a review. Food Control 68:310–329. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodcont.2016.04.007

Cattaneo TMP, Monti L, Panarelli EV, Francolino S, Bertuzzi T, Pietri T, 2008. Fate of aflatoxin M1 during production and storage of Crescenza cheese. Ital. J. Food Sci. 20:463–470.

Cavallarin L, Antoniazzi S, Giaccone D, Tabacco E, Borreani G, 2014. Transfer of aflatoxin M1 from milk to ripened cheese in three Italian traditional production methods. Food Control 38:174–177. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodcont.2013.10.008

European Commission, 2006. Commission Regulation (EC)No. 1881/2006 of 19 December 2006 setting maximum levels for certain contaminants in foodstuffs. In: Official Journal L364/5, 20/12/2006.

European Commission, 2006. Commission regulation (EC) No. 401/2006 of 23 February 2006 laying down the methods of sampling and analysis for the official control of the levels of mycotoxins in foodstuffs. In: Official Journal L70/12, 09/03/2006.

European Commission. 1997. Commission Decision of 18 December 1996 laying down provisions for the implementation of Council Directive 96/16/EC on statistical surveys of milk and milk products (97/80/EC). In: Official Journal L 24/26, 25/01/1997.

Fernandes AM Corrêa B, ,Rosim RE, Kobashigawa E,, and Oliveira CAF, 2012. Distribution and stability of aflatoxin M1 during processing and storage of Minas Frescal cheese. Food Control 24:104–108. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodcont.2011.09.010

Govaris, A., V. Roussi, P. A. Koidis, and N. A. Botsoglou. 2001. Distribution and stability of aflatoxin M1 during processing, ripening and storage of Telemes cheese. Food Addit. Contam. 18:437–443. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/02652030120550

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), 2002. Monographs on the evaluation of carcinogenic risks to humans: Some traditional herbal medicines, some mycotoxins, naphthalene and styrene, vol. 82, p. 1–556. IARC Press, Lyon, France.

Italian Ministry of Health CNSA 2013 opinion N. 13, 10-06-2013. Problematiche Aflatossina M1 nei formaggi – Applicabilità dei coefficienti di trasformazione in equivalente latte (All. 2, D.M. 31 luglio 2003 del Ministero delle Politiche Agricole e Forestali).

Italian Ministry of Health 2017 DGISAN note I.4.cc 8.9/2010/6, 21-11-2017. Fattori di concentrazione per l’aflatossina M1 nei formaggi; criteri oggettivi per la classificazione dei formaggi; art.2 del regolamento (CE) 1881/2006.

López C, Ramos L, Ramadán S, Bulacio L,, Perez J, 2001. Distribution of aflatoxin M1 in cheese obtained from milk artificially contaminated. Int. J. Food Microbiol. 64:211–215. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0168-1605(00)00444-X

Lucera A, Mastromatteo M, Conte A, Zambrini AV, Faccia MDEL, Del Nobile MA, 2014. Effect of active coating on microbiological and sensory properties of fresh mozzarella cheese. Food Packag. Shelf Life 1: 25–29. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fpsl.2013.10.002

Manetta AC, Giammarco M, Di Giuseppe L, Fusaro I, Gramenzi A, Formigoni A, Vignola G, Lambertini L,2009. Distribution of aflatoxin M 1 during Grana Padano cheese production from naturally contaminated milk. Food Chem. 113: 595-599. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2008.07.091

Miller JN, Miller JC, 2010. Statistics and chemometrics for analytical chemistry (6th ed.). Pearson Education Limited.

Oruc HH, Cibik R, Yilmaz E, Gunes E, 2007. Fate of aflatoxin M1 in Kashar cheese. J. Food Saf. 27:82–90. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-4565.2007.00062.x

Oruc HH, Cibik R, Yilmaz E, and Kalkanli O, 2006. Distribution and stability of aflatoxin M1 during processing and ripening of traditional white pickled cheese. Food Addit. Contam. 23:190–195. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/02652030500389048

Pecorelli I, Branciari R, Ortenzi R.,, M. Ciriaci M,, Checcarelli S, Roila R,Capotorti A, Spaccini G, Valiani A, 2018. Evaluation of the concentration factor of aflatoxin M1 in a semi-hard Pecorino cheese obtained from naturally contaminated milk. Food Control 85:194–198. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodcont.2017.09.026

Pecorelli I, Branciari R, Roila R, Bibi R, Ranucci D, Onofri A, Valiani A, 2019. Evaluation of Aflatoxin M1 Enrichment Factor in Semihard Cow's Milk Cheese and Correlation with Cheese Yield. J. Food Prot.82: 1176-1182. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-19-023

Pietri A, Mulazzi A, Piva G., Bertuzzi T, 2016. Fate of aflatoxin M1 during production and storage of parmesan cheese. Food Control 60:478–483. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodcont.2015.08.032

Roila R, Valiani A, Ranucci D, Ortenzi R, Servili M, Veneziani G, Branciari R, 2019. Antimicrobial efficacy of a polyphenolic extract from olive oil by-product against “Fior di latte” cheese spoilage bacteria. Int. J. Food Microbiol. 295: 49-53. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2019.02.013

Sakuma H, Kamata Y, Sugita-Konishi Y, Yoshida T, Kobayashi M, Igoshi K, Kawakami H, 2016. Enrichment factors of aflatoxin M1 in dairy products for making naturally and artificially aflatoxin M1 contaminated milk. Japanese Journal of Food Chemistry and Safety, 23: 118-125.

Wiseman DW, Marth EH,1983. Behavior of aflatoxin M1 during manufacture and storage of Queso Blanco and Bakers' cheese. J. Food Prot. 46:910–913. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4315/0362-028X-46.10.910

Yousef AE, Marth EH, 1989. Stability and degradation of aflatoxin M1. In H. P. Van Egmond (Ed.), Mycotoxins in dairy products (pp. 127e161). London and New York: Elsevier Applied Science.

Original Articles
Aflatoxin M1, MFFB, Primosale cheese, Fior di Latte cheese
  • Abstract views: 870

  • PDF: 494
  • HTML: 26
How to Cite
Pecorelli I, Branciari R, Roila R, Ranucci D, Bibi R, van Asselt M, Valiani A. Evaluation of Aflatoxin M1 enrichment factor in different cow milk cheese hardness category. Ital J Food Safety [Internet]. 2020Apr.1 [cited 2021Sep.23];9(1). Available from: https://pagepressjournals.org/index.php/ijfs/article/view/8419

Most read articles by the same author(s)