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Fusarium toxins in corn food products: a survey of the Serbian retail market Part A Chemistry, analysis, control, exposure & risk assessment

Torović, Ljilja
Food additives & contaminants 2018 v.35 no.8 pp. 1596-1609
Fusarium, climatic factors, corn, corn flour, deoxynivalenol, fluorescence, fumonisins, growing season, high performance liquid chromatography, markets, retail marketing, surveys, zearalenone, Serbia
This paper presents data on the occurrence of Fusarium toxins – zearalenone (ZEA), deoxynivalenol (DON) and fumonisins (FUMs) B1 and B2 – in corn flours and corn flakes marketed in Serbia. A total of 71 samples were collected over 2013–2016 and analysed using HPLC with UV or fluorescence detection. In the case of corn flours, none of the samples taken in 2013 exhibited the presence of ZEA or DON, whereas 90% were positive for FUMs. In 2015, occurrence was very high: ZEA 93%, DON 86% and FUMs 100% (mean 43.3, 322.6 and 323.0 μg kg⁻¹, respectively), with 21% of the samples exceeding the maximum level for ZEA and 7% for DON and FUMs. In 2016, a lower occurrence was recorded in the case of ZEA (75%) and DON (38%), with drastically lower mean contamination levels (six- and 10-fold, respectively), while FUMs stayed at 97%, with twofold lower mean. The maximum level was exceeded only for ZEA (3%). The frequency of ZEA–DON–FB1 co-occurrence was 86% in 2015 and 25% in 2016. Regarding corn flakes, occurrence summarised for the study period was 87% ZEA, 73% FUMs and 40% DON. One sample (7%) exceeded the maximum levels for both ZEA and DON. Observed occurrence changes were in agreement with the climatic conditions during corn growing seasons preceding the market release of the processed products.