Ochratoxin A Contamination of Red Chili Peppers from Chile, Bolivia and Peru, Countries with a High Incidence of Gallbladder Cancer

  • Ikoma, Toshikazu (Hokuriku University) ;
  • Tsuchiya, Yasuo (Division of Preventive Medicine, Niigata University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences) ;
  • Asai, Takao (Department of Clinical Engineering and Medical Technology, Niigata University of Health and Welfare) ;
  • Okano, Kiyoshi (Mycotoxin Research Association) ;
  • Ito, Naoko (Department of Health and Nutrition, Niigata University of Health and Welfare) ;
  • Endoh, Kazuo (Department of Health and Nutrition, Niigata University of Health and Welfare) ;
  • Yamamoto, Masaharu (Department of Health and Nutrition, Niigata University of Health and Welfare) ;
  • Nakamura, Kazutoshi (Division of Preventive Medicine, Niigata University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences)
  • Published : 2015.09.02


Our previous study detected aflatoxins in red chili peppers from Chile, Bolivia, and Peru, each of which have a high incidence of gallbladder cancer (GBC). Since the aflatoxin B1 concentration was not so high in these peppers, it is important to clarify the presence of other mycotoxins. Here we attempted to determine any associations between the concentrations of aflatoxins and ochratoxin A (OTA) in red chili peppers, and the corresponding GBC incidences. We collected red chili peppers from three areas in Peru: Trujillo (a high GBC incidence area), Cusco (an intermediate GBC incidence area), and Lima (a low GBC incidence rate), and from Chile and Bolivia. Aflatoxins and OTA were extracted with organic solvents. The concentrations of aflatoxins B1, B2, G1, and G2, and OTA were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography. The values obtained were compared with the incidence of GBC in each area or country. All of the red chili peppers from the three areas showed contamination with aflatoxins below the Commission of the European Communities (EC) recommended limits ($5{\mu}g/kg$), but the OTA contamination of two samples was above the EC recommended limit ($15{\mu}g/kg$). The mean concentrations of OTA in the peppers from Chile (mean $355{\mu}g/kg$, range < $5-1,059{\mu}g/kg$) and Bolivia (mean $207{\mu}g/kg$, range $0.8-628{\mu}g/kg$), which has a high incidence of GBC, were higher than that in Peru ($14{\mu}g/kg$, range < $5-47{\mu}g/kg$), which has an intermediate GBC incidence. The OTA contamination in the red chili peppers from Chile, Bolivia, and Peru was stronger than that of aflatoxins. Our data suggest that OTA in red chili peppers may be associated with the development of GBC.


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