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Bochnia, M.; Ziegler, J.; Glatter, M.; Zeyner, A.; Hypoglycin A in cow’s milk—A pilot study Toxins 13, 381, (2021) DOI: 10.3390/toxins13060381

Hypoglycin A (HGA) originating from soapberry fruits (litchi, and ackee) seeds or seedlings from the sycamore maple (SM) tree (related to Sapindaceae) may cause Jamaican vomiting sickness in humans and atypical myopathy in horses and ruminants. A possible transfer into dairy cow’s milk cannot be ruled out since the literature has revealed HGA in the milk of mares and in the offal of captured deer following HGA intoxication. From a study, carried out for another purpose, bulk raw milk samples from four randomly selected dairy farms were available. The cows were pastured in the daytime. A sycamore maple tree was found on the pasture of farm No. 1 only. Bulk milk from the individual tank or milk filling station was sampled in parallels and analyzed for HGA by LC-ESI-MS/MS. Measurable concentrations of HGA occurred only in milk from farm No. 1 and amounted to 120 and 489 nmol/L. Despite low and very variable HGA concentrations, the results indicate that the ingested toxin, once eaten, is transferred into the milk. However, it is unknown how much HGA the individual cow ingested during grazing and what amount was transferred into the bulk milk samples. As a prerequisite for a possible future safety assessment, carry-over studies are needed. Furthermore, the toxins’ stability during milk processing should also be investigated as well.
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