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Trichothecenes, ochratoxin A and zearalenone contamination and Fusarium infection in Finnish cereal samples in 1998

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The occurrences and concentrations of trichothecenes, ochratoxin A and zearalenone in Finnish cereal samples are presented in this study. Furthermore, infections by moulds, especially Fusarium contamination of grains in the same samples, are reported. In total 68 cereal samples, including 43 rye, 4 wheat, 15 barley and 6 oats samples, were collected after a cool and very rainy growing season in 1998. A gas chromatograph combined with a mass spectrometric detector was used for determination of seven different trichothecenes. A high performance liquid chromatograph with a fluorescence detector was used for ochratoxin A and zearalenone determination. For the identification of moulds, the grain samples were incubated and the moulds were isolated and identified by microscopy. The analytical methods were validated for mycotoxin analysis and they were found to be adequately reliable and sensitive. Heavy rainfalls in the summer and autumn of 1998 caused abundant Fusarium mould infection in Finnish cereals, particularly in rye. Fusarium avenaceum was the most common Fusarium species found in cereals. However, the mycotoxin concentrations were very low and only deoxynivalenol, nivalenol and HT-2 toxin were detected. Deoxynivalenol was detected in 54 samples in the concentration range 5-111 µg/kg. Nivalenol and HT-2 toxin were detected in three and two samples, respectively, in the concentration range 10-20 µg/kg.
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Keywords: CEREALS; FUSARIUM MOULDS; OCHRATOXIN A; TRICHOTHECENES; ZEARALENONE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2001

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