Beauvericin and enniatins in food and feed


beauvericin, enniatins, food, feed, exposure, toxicity, risk assessment
First published in the EFSA Journal
7 August 2014
17 July 2014
Scientific Opinion

Beauvericin and enniatins are mycotoxins produced by various Fusarium species. The European Commission asked EFSA for a scientific opinion on the risk to human and animal health related to the presence of beauvericin and enniatins in food and feed. A total of 12 685 analytical results for beauvericin and enniatins in food, feed and unprocessed grains were evaluated. For the assessment of enniatins, the sum of enniatins A, A1, B and B1 were considered. The most important contributors to the chronic dietary exposure to beauvericin and the sum of enniatins were ‘Grains and grain-based products’, especially ‘Bread and rolls’, ‘Fine bakery wares’ and ‘Pasta (raw)’. Given the lack of relevant toxicity data, a risk assessment was not possible. To obtain some insights in the possible risks of both mycotoxins at the estimated acute dietary exposure levels, these were compared to the LD 50 values of beauvericin and of the drug fusafungine (a mixture of enniatins). For the chronic exposure, an estimate for the LOAEL of fusafungine was considered. The CONTAM Panel concluded that acute exposure to beauvericin and enniatins do not indicate concern for human health. There might be a concern with respect to chronic exposure but no firm conclusion could be drawn, thus relevant in vivo toxicity data are needed to perform a human risk assessment. Animal exposure to beauvericin and enniatins was primarily from consuming cereal grains and cereal by-products. Using the LD 50 values of beauvericin and fusafungine, adverse health effects from the acute exposure to beauvericin and the sum of enniatins for farm and companion animals were unlikely. The chronic exposure for poultry indicated that adverse health effects from beauvericin and enniatins were unlikely. For other considered animals, the lack of LOAELs/NOAELs precluded the estimation of chronic health risk from beauvericin and enniatins.

Panel members at the time of adoption
Diane Benford, Sandra Ceccatelli, Bruce Cottrill, Michael Dinovi, Eugenia Dogliotti, Lutz Edler, Peter Farmer, Peter Fürst, Laurentius (Ron) Hoogenboom, Helle Katrine Knutsen, Anne-Katrine Lundebye, Manfred Metzler, Carlo Stefano Nebbia, Michael O’Keeffe, Ivonne Rietjens (until 2 May 2014), Dieter Schrenk, Vittorio Silano, Hendrik van Loveren, Christiane Vleminckx, and Pieter Wester.
Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain
contam [at]
EFSA Journal 2014;12(8):3802 [174 pp.].
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