New MLs for ochratoxin A (OTA)

19 AUGUST 2022

The Commission published the Commission Regulation (EU) 2022/1370 amending Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006 as regards maximum levels of ochratoxin A in certain foodstuffs.

Ochratoxin A is a mycotoxin naturally produced by fungi of the genus Aspergillus and Penicillium and is found as a contaminant in a wide variety of foods, such as cereals and cereal products, coffee beans, dried fruits, wine and grape juice, spices and liquorice. Ochratoxin A is formed during sun drying and storage of crops. The formation can be prevented by applying good drying and storage practices. Taking into account the available occurrence data, it is appropriate to lower the existing maximum levels of ochratoxin A in certain foods, such as bakery products, dried vine fruit, roasted coffee and soluble coffee. In addition, the existing provisions for ochratoxin A in certain spices has been broadened to all spices. For cheese and ham, additional monitoring on the presence of ochratoxin A is appropriate before establishing maximum levels.

The new maximum levels (μg/kg):

Dried vine fruit (currants, raisins and sultanas) and dried figs 8.0

Other dried fruit 2.0

Date syrup 15

Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, (water) melon seeds hempseeds, soybeans 5,0

Pistachios to be subjected to sorting, or other physical treatment, before placing on the market for final consumer or use as ingredient in food 10.0

Pistachios placed on the market for final consumer or use as ingredient in foodstuffs 5.0

Foodstuffs listed in the Annex, lawfully placed on the market before 1 January 2023, may remain on the market until their date of minimum durability or use-by date.

This Regulation shall enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union (published 08.08.2022). It shall apply from 1 January 2023.

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