it is a DEMUS patent.
DEFINITION OCHRATOXIN A (OTA): Is a fungal metabolite produced by the species Aspergillus and Penicillum, which develops in certain conditions of high humidity and can be present in cereals, wine, coffee, beer, cocoa, dried fruit, meat, spices and fruit juices. Contamination is most widespread in certain producer countries and takes place primarily after the harvest, but can arise along the entire production chain (transport, storage, production).
It presents renal toxicity (for example, nephropathy, endemic in the Balkans) and accumulates in the tissues: in addition, a potential carcinogenic effect for liver and kidneys was also observed.
It is better to analyse it on the green coffee. If OTA contamination is identified on roasted coffee, this could lead to the loss of the batch of coffee. A direct analysis on the green bean protects the buyer who, in the event OTA is present, can adopt appropriate measures to sanitise the batch.
The risk of OTA contamination is continuous and it is therefore necessary, for greater product safety, to carry out controls both upstream on the individual sources and downstream on the packaged products in order to eliminate any risk.
On roasted coffee, the OTA analysis is a legal obligation of the roaster and/or distributor (see “Regulatory References”).
OCHRATOXIN EXTRACTION PROCESS: The extraction of the OTA can take place at the same time as decaffeination, or without decaffeination. The batch of green coffee beans will be identified, isolated and traced in accordance with our HACCP System. The process used for the physical elimination of the OTA and other mycotoxins has been patented by Demus, which has obtained health authorisation for the extraction of mycotoxins.
REGULATORY REFERENCES: EC Reg. 1881/2006 which currently lays down the limit of 5 p.p.b. on roasted coffee and 10 p.p.b. on soluble coffee, and EC Reg. 105/2010 which does not lay down any limitation for green coffee.
The evolution of the regulatory framework is given below:
- Ministry of Health Circular No. 10 of 19/06/1999: it envisaged a limit of 4 p.p.b on roasted coffee and 8 p.p.b on the green coffee.
- Regulation 1881/2006: it bears the limit on roasted coffee in a range between 4 p.p.b and 5 p.p.b. It made no statement on the possibility of a limit on the green coffee. As a consequence, the limit on green coffee in Italy remained at 8 ppb.
- EC Regulation No. 105/2010: amendment to the EC Regulation 1881/2006. It shifted the attention of the control onto roasted coffee and so the limit laid down by Reg. 1881/2006 of 5 p.p.b on roasted coffee and 10 p.p.b on the soluble coffee remained in place. As a consequence, there are no limits on the presence of OTA on the green coffee. It can be inferred that the responsibility for control is shifted on to those who put the product on the market.
- Ministry of Health Circular of 18/02/2010: it made clear that the value of 8 p.p.b. on the green coffee remains in force only for the activity of monitoring, and it will take appropriate measures in the event the limit is “significantly exceeded”. The maintenance of the guide value of 8 p.p.b. therefore follows for the activity of monitoring.