Aflatoxin M1 (AFM1) is a mycotoxin that can be found in cheeses and makes the monitoring of this food of public health interesting. In Brazil, the Amazon region has a cattle herd with dairy production of cheese, and an evaluation of the food and its risk to the population is required. The objective of this study was to evaluate the levels of AFM1, moisture content (mc) and water activity (aw) in different cheeses types, inspected or not by the food safety authority in the Amazonas State in Brazil. All samples of coalho-type cheese were found to be in compliance with mc and aw. Both mozzarella cheeses and Minas frescal cheeses presented average mc below the acceptable limits. As for the samples of mozzarella cheese, these presented aw according to the values acceptable by the legislation, however the average of the cheese Minas frescal was inferior to the recommended values. None of the 25 cheeses samples showed AFM1 contamination detectable by the HPLC method (LOQ = 0.0625 μg/mL). One possible explanation for the absence may be the lack of use of feed and confined animals, since in the state of Amazonas, for example, the milk-producing herd uses free grazing. Nevertheless, continuous monitoring is necessary since the consumption of cheeses produced in the state is relevant.
Key words: Aspergillus, water activity, moisture content.
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