The occurrence of HT-2 toxin and other trichothecenes in Norwegian cereals.

PMID 11040866


A total of 449 grain samples, 102 barley, 169 wheat and 178 oat samples were collected from different regions of Norway from 1996-1998 crops, mainly from grain loads and silos. The samples were analysed for type A and B trichothecenes, the largest groups of mycotoxins produced by the Fusarium species, by gas chromatography with mass spectrometric detection (GC-MS). Factors affecting the presence of the different trichothecenes are discussed. Deoxynivalenol (DON) and HT-2 toxin were the trichothecenes most frequently detected, followed by T-2 toxin, nivalenol, and scirpentriol, scirpentriol being detected only in seven samples (> 20 micrograms/kg). Oats were the grain species most heavily contaminated with an incidence (% > 20 micrograms/kg) and mean concentration of positive samples of 70% (115 micrograms/kg) for HT-2 toxin, 30% (60 micrograms/kg) for T-2 toxin, 57% (104 micrograms/kg) for DON, and 10% (56 micrograms/kg) for nivalenol. The corresponding values for barley were 22% (73 micrograms/kg), 5% (85 micrograms/kg), 17% (155 micrograms/kg) and 6% (30 micrograms/kg), and for wheat 1.2% (20 micrograms/kg), 0.6% (20 micrograms/kg), 14% (53 micrograms/kg) and 0% for HT-2, T-2, DON and nivalenol, respectively. Norwegian oats were found to contain HT-2 and T-2 toxin in concentrations that might be at threat to human health for high consumers of oats. The amount of DON was significantly lower than in the crop from previous years.