Perspectives on mycotoxin management: occurrence of total aflatoxins in 2018-2019 romanian maize (Zea Mays L.) samples

Irina Smeu, Hellene Casian

Volume 26, Issue 4;
Pages: 287-293; 2020
ISSN: 2069-0053 (print) (former ISSN: 1453-1399), Agroprint;
ISSN (online): 2068-9551
In recent decades, mycotoxin contamination have continued to represent a clear public health concern. Cereals are very susceptible to fungal attacks, both in the field and during storage. Although there are numerous mycotoxins affecting the maize crops, aflatoxins are the most widespread, toxigenic and important mycotoxins in maize. In this context, a maize survey was conducted in Romania, to monitor the occurrence of total aflatoxins in maize samples, collected during the 2018 and 2019 growing seasons from fields located in all counties. A total of 179 maize samples were collected along with information regarding the specific location of fields, the applied agronomic practices and cropping systems. ELISA method was used for the quantification of AFs. Only one sample noted aflatoxin levels higher than the limit of 10.00 μg/kg, settled by the Commission Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006 for maize to be subjected to soring or other physical treatment before human consumption or use as an ingredient in foodstuffs. The highest total afaltoxins level was 77.59 μg/kg, noted by a maize sample from Argeș County (the South-Muntenia development region, macroregion 3). There were gathered information for strategies and solutions to the maize mycotoxin management. When referring to the analysed samples, the total aflatoxin contamination was independent of the type of hybrid, but strongly influenced by the pedo-climatic differences between counties. The southern counties proved to represent critical risk areas for aflatoxin contamination when referring to maize. These results highlight the importance of an effective and sustainable mycotoxin management along the food and feed chain, as well as the need of mapping the mycotoxin risk areas.
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