1Assistant Professor of Toxicology, School of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutics Research Center & Physiology Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
2Associate professor of Pharmaceutics, School of pharmacy, Pharmaceutics Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
3M.Sc. Student of Toxicology, School of Pharmacy, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
4Associate Professor of Analytical Chemistry, Islamic Azad University, Kerman Branch, Kerman, Iran
5Pharmacist, Food Control Office, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
Background & Aims: Aflatoxin M1 (AFM1) is a major metabolite of aflatoxin B1 detected in the milk of mammals that their foods have been contaminated with aflatoxins. Aflatoxins are a group of highly toxic metabolites produced by the common fungi Aspergillus flavus, A. parasiticus. They are among the most potent carcinogens found in foods. Considering its risk to the human health and high consumption of milk and diary products, this study was undertaken to determine the level of AFM1in pasteurized milk in Kerman province for the first time. Method: From 19 Dec. 2007 to 19 March 2008, a total of 76 pasteurized milk samples produced by eight factories were collected and checked for the level of AFM1 using immunoaffinity column and highperformance liquid chromatography coupled to fluorimetric detector. Results: The minimum detected level was 0.002 ppb and the amount of AFM1 in milk samples ranged from 0.002 to 0.14 ppb. No sample had greater AFM1 levels than the maximum allowed levels in milk accepted by FDA (o.5ppb), however, in 34 (44.7%) samples AFM1 level was over the maximum allowed limit in milk accepted by the European Union (0.05ppb). Mean AFM1 level in milk samples obtained from Jiroft factory was the least (0.019±0.01ppb) compared to that for other factories. Conclusion: Although the amount of AFM1 in samples selected from commonly consumed milks in Kerman province, does not appear to create a serious public health problem at present, because of high consumption of milk and diary products especially in children it is necessary to consider it as a serious health problem.