Tropane and ergot alkaloids in grain-based products for infants and young children in the Netherlands in 2011–2014

Mulder, P.P.J.; Pereboom-de Fauw, D.P.K.H.; Hoogenboom, R.L.A.P.; Stoppelaar, Joyce de; Nijs, Monique de


An LC-MS/MS multi-method was developed to simultaneously quantify ergot alkaloids (EAs) and tropane alkaloids (TAs) in 113 cereal-based food for infants and young children. To assess yearly variation, samples were collected in 2011, 2012 and 2014. EAs were detected in 54% and TAs in 22% of the samples. Mean EA levels in the three sampling years were 10.6, 6.2 and 8.6 µg kg−1, respectively (maximum: 115.4 µg kg−1), indicating that exposure to EAs would not have exceeded the health-based guidance values set by EFSA in 2012. Mean TA levels were 3.9, 2.4 and 0.4 µg kg−1, respectively (maximum: 80.8 µg kg−1). The acute reference dose for TAs, derived by EFSA in 2013, would have been exceeded by young children when consuming some of the products sampled in 2011–2012. TA levels had decreased drastically in 2014, possibly due to measures taken by producers as response to the EFSA Opinion.