1Ph.D. Student, Young Researchers and Elite Club, Islamic Azad University, Sari Branch, Sari, Iran
2Associate Professor, Center for Biotechnology, School of Science and Technology, Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
Background & Aims: Aflatoxins are a group of toxic compounds found in most plant products such as pistachio, corn, spices, wheat, and rice. This study was carried out to detect the presence of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) in samples of spices collected from Qaemshahr in Mazandaran province, Iran. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study on the presence of AFB1 in 18 samples of spices including chilli (red) powder (n = 6), black pepper powder (n = 6), and whole black pepper (n = 6) collected from Qaemshahr. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) method was used to analyze the samples. Results: Aflatoxin B1 was found in all samples, and the concentration of aflatoxin ranged from 63.16 to 626.81 ng/kg. The mean AFB1 concentration in chilli (red) powder was significantly higher (P < 0.05) than whole and powdered black pepper. However, none of the samples exceeded the maximum prescribed limit of 5 µg/kg recommended by the European Union regulations for aflatoxin B1. Conclusion: Although the concentration of AFB1 in the study samples was less than the maximum limit approved by the EU, the 100% Aflatoxin contamination of the samples could be a potential hazard for public health.