Chili, pepper and Co: hazardous to spices and often with health substances
With spices can give dishes a special flavor, but also sometimes his health do something Good. Thus, it is known that chilies protect the heart. But unfortunately, harmful substances found in spices again and again.
The Federal office for consumer protection and food safety (BVL) has in a recent communication that, in spices such as chili powder, pepper or paprika, due to their method of production, processing and storage of relatively frequently, fungal toxins, pesticide residues or heavy metals found.
In General, there is no immediate danger to the health of
According to the BVL, the examination offices of the länder have tested in the past few years, samples for which legal maximum levels have been exceeded.
Therefore, the BVL import calls on exporters and manufacturers to increase their own checks.
Because spices are used in small quantities, there is in General no immediate health risk for the consumers.
Mold toxins in Paprika and chili powder
How the professionals explain, may be formed at spices in to a humid and warm storage, easy to mould toxins (mycotoxins) such as Aflatoxin/aflatoxin or Ochratoxin A (OTA).
So it was in the years 2018 and 2019 in the European rapid alert system for food and feed (RASFF) 16 or 13 messages to Mold mycotoxins in Paprika and chili powder.
This corresponds to 41 per cent of all notifications for mycotoxins in herbs and spices in the year 2019.
According to the Federal Institute for risk assessment (BfR), include aflatoxins substances “of the strongest naturally occurring toxins and carcinogenic”.
The experts estimated that aflatoxins have been shown in animal experiments carcinogenic effects (especially liver cancer).
Maximum salary increases cannot be excluded
As the BVL further explains, were investigated in 2018 in the nationwide Monitoring of 144 samples of paprika powder representative on Aflatoxin/aflatoxin and OTA go.
Compared to a similar investigation in 2012, the aflatoxin content was somewhat lower, nevertheless, can not be excluded in paprika powder from some third countries maximum level exceedances continue to be in full.
The OTA content in red pepper powder layers to 2018, although significantly higher than in all other investigated products, but there were only four maximum level is exceeded.
Load varies from year to year
In the year 2017 there was also a focus of investigations to Mold mycotoxins in spices.
In the studies of black pepper (representative in the Monitoring Aflatoxin/aflatoxin and Ochratoxin A), as well as Chili and paprika-wide monitoring plan on Ochratoxin A) spices (risk-oriented in the Federal the measured levels ranged according to the BVL, a total of at a low level.
This shows that the contamination of food with mold can vary the influences of the poisons from year to year due to weather. Since spices can also become moldy in the household in the event of incorrect storage, they should be dry and stored in a cool place.
Higher levels of heavy metals found
The unwanted elements such as heavy metals, Occurrence of health will also be reviewed regularly by the official control laboratories of the Federal States. Thus, it was investigated in the Monitoring of 2018 paprika powder.
The information that was noted in comparison to other investigated foods a higher burden of lead, copper, chromium, and aluminum. The statutory maximum level for copper in an amount of 40 mg/kg was exceeded in none of the investigated samples.
Also in the case of black pepper were found in the Monitoring of 2017 comparatively high levels of lead, aluminum, Nickel, chromium, and Thallium.
Chemical elements such as heavy metals, for example, can pass through air, water and soil, in food. Also for the heavy metals, the following applies: The intake of spices is comparatively low, because these can be eaten only in small quantities.
To high residues of plant protection products
The examination offices of the länder have established in the past, often to high pesticide residues in spices.
While black pepper has been studied for years, regularly in the Monitoring, were in the year 2017, also 54 specimens peppers-fruit spice (powder) and 23 samples of Chili fruit seasoning (powder) in a Monitoring project on the residues studied.
In many samples residues were found to be more active compounds in 70 percent of the samples of chilli powder. In the case of black pepper 7.5 percent, in paprika powder by 13 per cent exceeded and in the case of chili powder, 26 percent of the samples, levels of the maximum Residue.
In comparison, in 2018 only in 2.9% of the 137 samples examined, paprika Exceeded the residue levels maximum, multiple residues in only eight percent of the samples.
A possible reason for the Exceedance of maximum residue levels in dried chilli and pepper powder according to the BVL, a concentration of residues during drying processes of fresh, treated with plant protection products products.
In spite of the maximum level can be excluded overruns – due to the low levels of Consumption in spices – a health risk for consumers due to residues of plant protection products. (ad)