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EU RULES ON OCHRATOXIN-A EXTENDED TO COFFEE, WINE AND GRAPE JUICE.

Maximum levels of ochratoxin A will be set for coffee, wine and grape juice following a vote by an panel of EU Member State experts to amend an existing EU Regulation. Ochratoxin A is a type of mycotoxin - a poisonous substance produced by fungus - shown to have carcinogenic and other toxic properties. Maximum levels for this contaminant already exist for cereals - the main source of exposure to the chemical, which occurs naturally. It can contaminate crops in the field or post-harvest. The new Regulation rests on proof that wine, coffee and beer, as well as grape juice are important sources of ochratoxin A. The Commission will review other foodstuffs to set maximum levels where needed.

The following limits were agreed at the October 13 meeting:

- roasted beans and ground roasted coffee: 5.0 micrograms/kg

- soluble coffee: 10.0 micrograms/kg

- wine and other wine and/or grape must based drinks: 2.0 micrograms/kg

- grape juice and grape juice ingredients in other drinks: 2.0 micrograms/kg

The amended Regulation now awaits formal adoption by the European Commission shortly.

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Publication:European Report
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4E
Date:Oct 16, 2004
Words:180
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