Fusarium mycotoxins in Lithuanian cereals from the 2004-2005 harvests

Audrone Mankeviciene, Bronislava Butkute, Zenonas Dabkevicius, Skaidre Suproniene
Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine: AAEM 2007, 14 (1): 103-7
Fusarium mycotoxins deoxynivalenol (DON), T-2 toxin, and zearalenone (ZEN) contamination in 5 kinds of cereal grain harvested in 2004 and 2005 in different regions of Lithuania was examined for their occurrence frequency and level. In all cereal species DON was the most frequently detected mycotoxin with an incidence rate of 98.0-100% and range in positive samples from traces to 691 microg kg(-1) in 2004 and 62.5-94.0%, range from traces to 1,121 microg kg(-1) in 2005, respectively. All the tested oat samples collected in 2004-2005 were found to be contaminated with the T-2 toxin. In one sample from the year 2004 the level of T-2 toxin (121.5 microg kg(-1)) exceeded the allowable level. In 2004, ZEN contamination was more frequent in spring wheat, barley and oats grain, whereas in 2005 this toxin was identified at higher levels only in barley grain (68.0%). In one barley grain sample from 2004, ZEN content (193.4 microg kg(-1)) exceeded the allowable level. Variation in the relative air-humidity exerted some effect on the incidence of Fusarium spp. fungi and mycotoxin content in wheat grain. The weather conditions at harvesting contributed to an increase in the contents of Fusarium fungi and DON and ZEN mycotoxins produced by them in winter wheat grain. This risk factor increases the threat to human and animal health.

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