Occurrence of cyclic imines in European commercial seafood and consumers risk assessment

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article – Annual report year: 2018Researchpeer-review

  • Author: Rambla-Alegre, Maria

    Institute of Agrifood Research and Technology

  • Author: Miles, Christopher O.

    Norwegian Veterinary Institute

  • Author: de la Iglesia, Pablo

    Institute of Agrifood Research and Technology

  • Author: Fernandez-Tejedor, Margarita

    Institute of Agrifood Research and Technology

  • Author: Jacobs, Silke

    Ghent University

  • Author: Sioen, Isabelle

    Ghent University

  • Author: Verbeke, Wim

    Ghent University

  • Author: Samdal, Ingunn A.

    Norwegian Veterinary Institute

  • Author: Sandvik, Morten

    Norwegian Veterinary Institute

  • Author: Barbosa, Vera

    Portuguese Institute for the Sea and Atmosphere, I.P. (IPMA)

  • Author: Tediosi, Alice

    Aeiforia Srl

  • Author: Madorran, Eneko

    University of Maribor

  • Author: Granby, Kit

    Research group for Analytical Food Chemistry, National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, Kemitorvet, 2800, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark

  • Author: Kotterman, Michiel

    Wageningen University & Research

  • Author: Calis, Tanja


  • Author: Diogène, Jorge

    Institute of Agrifood Research and Technology

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Cyclic imines constitute a quite recently discovered group of marine biotoxins that act on neural receptors and that bioaccumulate in seafood. They are grouped together due to the imino group functioning as their common pharmacore, responsible for acute neurotoxicity in mice. Cyclic imines (CIs) have not been linked yet to human poisoning and are not regulated in the European Union (EU), although the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) requires more data to perform conclusive risk assessment for consumers. Several commercial samples of bivalves including raw and processed samples from eight countries (Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Ireland, Norway, The Netherlands and Denmark) were obtained over 2 years. Emerging cyclic imine concentrations in all the samples were analysed on a LC-3200QTRAP and LC-HRMS QExactive mass spectrometer. In shellfish, two CIs, pinnatoxin G (PnTX-G) and 13-desmethylspirolide C (SPX-1) were found at low concentrations (0.1–12 µg/kg PnTX-G and 26–66 µg/kg SPX-1), while gymnodimines and pteriatoxins were not detected in commercial (raw and processed) samples. In summary, SPX-1 (n: 47) and PnTX-G (n: 96) were detected in 9.4% and 4.2% of the samples, respectively, at concentrations higher than the limit of quantification (LOQ), and in 7.3% and 31.2% of the samples at concentrations lower than the LOQ (25 µg/kg for SPX-1 and 3 µg/kg for PnTX-G), respectively. For the detected cyclic imines, the average exposure and the 95th percentile were calculated. The results obtained indicate that it is unlikely that a potential health risk exists through the seafood diet for CIs in the EU. However, further information about CIs is necessary in order to perform a conclusive risk assessment.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Research
Pages (from-to)392-398
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: No match on DOI

    Research areas

  • Cyclic imines, Marine toxins, Mass spectrometry, Risk assessment, Shellfish

ID: 140541977