Background: A variety of agricultural products are exposed to fungal contamination from the early stages of planting, until their final consumption. T-2 mycotoxin is toxic to humans and to all animal species, it is mainly produced by the various Fusarium species including; F. sporotrichioides, F. poae, F equiseti, and F. acuminatum, and occasionally by other genera species, therefore, measuring T-2 toxin levels is very important in cereals. Objectives: We examined the occurrence and levels of T-2 mycotoxin in grains for human consumption. Materials and Methods: Rice, barley and wheat samples, 23, 16 and 7 respectively, were collected from the staple stores of nine food cooking centers in Tehran. After pulverizing the samples, they were extracted using a methanol-water solution (70:30), then analysed with an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), based on the monoclonal antibodies, the amount of T-2 mycotoxin was measured in their extracts. Results: All of the tested samples were contaminated with T-2 toxin at different levels ranging from 7.9 to 65.9 µg/kg (mean: 17.9 ± 2.1). Wheat samples had the highest level of contamination at approximately 42.4 µg/kg (± 8.4). However, both barley and rice were also affected with contamination levels of 18.3 (±2) and 12.5 (± 0.56) µg/kg respectively. Conclusions: Although the majority of samples were based on Iranian national standards, a small number of specimens (13.9 %) were contaminated at higher than acceptable limits. The extent of the impurities with T-2 toxin is an indicator of the current normal prevalence of mycotoxins in agricultural products destined for human consumption in this country, and the risk of exposure to the chronic effects of this toxin. Overall, this study showed that the level of mycotoxins in food products should be checked before they are bought or consumed.
Implication for health policy/practice/research/medical education: Our study suggested that the levels of mycotoxins in products should be detected before buying and be discarded from human consumptive cycle if the grains are contaminated more than allowable limit.
Please cite this paper as: Riazipour M, Imani Fooladi AA, Bagherpour G. Survey of T-2 Toxin Present in Cereals Destined for Human Consumption. Jundishapur J Microbiol. 2012;5(3):497-501. DOI: 10.5812/jjm.4251
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