Arieta Camaj1, Tahir Arbneshi2, Bajram Berisha1, Arben Haziri2, Afërdita Camaj2
1 University of Prishtina, Department of Food Technology and Biotechnology, Prishtina, Kosovo
2 University of Prishtina, Department of Chemistry, Prishtina, Kosovo
Camaj, A., Arbneshi, T., Berisha, B., Haziri, A., & Camaj, A. (2019).Evaluation of aflatoxin M1 by ELISA in raw milk in Kosovo during 2016. Bulgarian Journal of Agricultural Science, 25(1), 124–128
Aflatoxins are a class of mycotoxins that are found in agricultural crops produced mainly by fungi Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus. When aflatoxin B1 found in the food crops is consumed by cows, metabolizes to aflatoxin M1 (AFM1), which is excreted through milk. Aflatoxin M1 is a human toxin that causes several health problems. In 2016, during the winter and the summer season, 192 raw cow milk samples were collected from small farms in five major regions of Kosovo (Prishtina, Gjilan, Mitrovica, Peja, and Prizren), and analyzed for the aflatoxin M1 level, using Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA). The number of positive samples was 80 (41.7%), from which 43 samples were from the winter season and 37 samples from the summer season. Prizren was the region with the highest number of positive samples for the two seasons examined. The region with the highest percentage of samples that exceeded the maximum tolerable limit for AFM1, according to EU Maximum Tolerable Limit, was Prishtina, with 15.4% of the samples. The difference of AFM1 level between the seasons was statistically significant (P ≤ 0.05 to P ≤ 0.001). The maximum mean concentrations of AFM1 recorded in the winter season were in the range of 0.004-0.109 ng/mL, and during the summer season they are in the range of 0.004-0.833 ng/mL, all coming from the region of Gjilan. The maximum range for this region resulted to be alarming, values that needed to be reevaluated by a confirming method, like HPLC, in another study. During 2016, the occurrence of AFM1 in raw cow’s milk appears to be prevalent in Kosovo.