Occurrence of zearalenone contamination in some cereals in Egypt

El-Desouky, T. A, Khayria Naguib

Volume 19, Issue 4;
Pages: 445-450;
ISSN: 2069-0053 (print) (former ISSN: 1453-1399), Agroprint;
ISSN (online): 2068-9551
Zearalenone (ZEA) is a mycotoxin produced by Fusarium species, which may invade crops in the field. Zearalenone can, after crop harvesting, be detected both in grain and products thereof. The toxicity of zearalenone has recently been reviewed by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and a tolerable daily intake (TDI) of 0.25µg/kg body weight was established. Cereals represent a staple food for the Egypt population, therefore the aim of this study was to investigate sixty (60) samples of cereals (wheat, barley white corn and yellow corn) purchased from markets of Cairo city were analyzed for the presence of zearalenone using High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) to compare the levels of contamination by zearalenone with the European norms. Zearalenone was found in wheat samples (40%) with a mean level of 1.55μg/kg. ZEN was found in 4 out of the 15 analyzed samples of barley with mean 1.25µg/kg. On the other hand twenty percent (20%) of white corn samples are contaminated with ZEA with mean 1.7µg/kg. The highest ZEA contamination levels were found in yellow corn samples with ranged from 2.5 to 3.7µg/kg. All the samples under study were within the permissible limits (100µg/kg) as recommended by the European Union. And also when compared with maximum limits of (50–1000) µg/kg in foods and animal feeds in countries of the world regulating ZEA as in 2003 according to Food and Agriculture Organization.
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