Swiss Federal Research Station for Animal Production, Posieux

Mycotoxins in cereals grown in Switzerland in 2002

353 cereal samples (wheat: 193; triticale: 71; barley: 46; oats: 27; rye: 16) were randomly sampled and assayed for deoxynivalenol (DON) and zearalenone using ELISA kits. Positive samples were analysed using GC-MS for DON determination and HPLC for zearalenone determination. DON levels > 1 mg/kg (up to 12 mg/kg) were detected in 4 wheat and in 4 triticale samples, and zearalenone levels > 200 µg/kg (up to 1.6 mg/kg) were detected in 2 wheat and in 5 triticale samples. None of the other cereals contained > 1 mg/kg DON or > 200 µg/kg zearalenone. The percentage of contaminated samples was higher in 2002 than in previous years presumably because adverse weather conditions had favoured fusarium growth. Nevertheless, the percentage of contaminated samples was low and the risk of fusariotoxicosis in animals that consume compound feeds formulated with indigenous cereals is therefore considered to be small.

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