Food safety status of mussels from Bulgarian coast in regard of marine biotoxins

Zlatina Peteva1,2, Bernd Krock3, Stanislava Georgieva1, Mona Stancheva1 and Thomas Max3
1 Medical University Varna, 9002 Varna, Bulgaria
2 Dobrudzha Technological College, 9302 Dobrich, Bulgaria
3 Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Chemical Ecology, am Handelshafen 12, 27570 Bremerhaven, Germany


Peteva, Z., Krock, B., Georgieva, S., Stancheva, M. & Max, T. (2023). Food safety status of mussels from Bulgarian coast in regard of marine biotoxins. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 29 (3), 536–543

Seafood, such as mussels is rich of essential nutrients, but it could be also a source of contaminants that may cause adverse health effects. This article aimed to identify safety status of mussels harvested from Bulgarian coast.
Wild and cultivated mussels (N = 17) were collected from their breeding sites in the period throughout 2021, along the Bulgarian coast of the Black Sea. Among all six regulated marine biotoxins (domoic acid, dinophysistoxin-1 (DTX1), dinophysistoxin-2 (DTX2), azaspiracid-1 (AZA1), pectenotoxin-2 (PTX2) and yessotoxin (YTX)) were determined via high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Safety of investigated samples was assessed by calculating the human exposure to detected toxins and comparing it with the legislated acute reference doses. For calculations a body weight (66 kg) and mean portion size of 400 g, recommended by EFSA were used.
The presence of only PTX2, yessotoxin and some of their analogues (PTX2-seco acid (PTX2sa) and hydroxy-YTX) was confirmed in all samples. Highest calculated exposure was to YTX – 0,00013 microgram/kg bw, which is much lower than the accepted acute reference dose of 25 microgram/kg bw. Calculated exposures to pectenotoxins were more than thousand times lower than the acute reference dose of 0,8 microgram/kg bw. Estimated results indicate that no human health risk could be expected based on the analyzed mussels.
Although, no human health risk was identified, a running monitoring of marine biotoxins is important as mass proliferations of harmful microalgal are hard to predict. Thus, high levels of yessotoxins and pectenotoxins might be a certain danger to consumers. The insidiousness lies in the mechanism of action of these toxins, as it is still unknown and does not allow us to have reliable information on the symptoms and problems that it develops in humans.
This work presents that in mussel samples from Bulgarian coast from 2021, low levels of marine biotoxins were detected. No human health risk might be expected if mussels were consumed.

Keywords: yessotoxins; pectenotoxins; Black Sea; acute exposure

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