24th February 2015
Oat breakfast cereal could contain a toxin that is linked to kidney cancer.
Ochratoxin A (OTA) is one of the most common toxic products released by molds, with studies finding it in samples of pork, dried fruits, coffee and other products.
Scientists do not know how the toxin will impact human health, but the International Agency for Research on Cancer has categorised it as a potential human carcinogen and a new study in the American Chemical Society Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that the toxin is present in some breakfast cereals.
Even though the US does not regulate the containment, the European Union has assigned maximum limits for OTA in food and Dojin Ryu and Hyun Jung Lee from the ACS want to see how the American standards compare.
The study found that OTA levels were lower than threshold seen in Europe, with researchers finding that oat production, storage and processing need to be evaluated more comprehensively to ensure people are less likely to be affected by the toxin.