Molds and mycotoxin content of cereals in southeastern Romania

C Tabuc, D Marin, P Guerre, T Sesan, J D Bailly
Journal of Food Protection 2009, 72 (3): 662-5
Fungal species and toxin contamination were determined in 110 cereal samples (54 maize, 35 wheat, and 21 barley) collected in the southeastern part of Romania from 2002 to 2004. The most frequent fungal contaminants belonged to Aspergillus and Fusarium, and maize was the most contaminated cereal. The main toxigenic species identified were Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus fumigatus, Fusarium graminearum, and Fusarium culmorum in all cereals and Fusarium verticillioides in maize. The presence of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), deoxynivalenol (DON), zearalenone (ZEA), fumonisins, and ochratoxin A was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. More than 90% of the samples were contaminated with at least one toxin. Around 30% of maize samples were contaminated with AFB1, and in 20% of these samples the level of toxin exceeded that allowed by European Union regulations. In 48 and 42% of samples, levels of DON and ZEA, respectively, exceeded those allowed by the European Union. Neither fumonisins nor ochratoxin A were found in samples from any year or cereal. These results indicate that cereals produced in Romania have a particular pattern of mycoflora and mycotoxin contamination because DON and ZEA in addition to AFB1 were found.

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