A survey on 120 cereal samples (barley, maize, rice and wheat) from Algerian markets has been carried out to evaluate the presence of 15 mycotoxins (ochratoxin A, deoxynivalenol, fumonisin B1 and B2, T-2 and HT-2 toxins, zearalenone, fusarenon X, citrinin, sterigmatocystin, enniatins A, A1, B and B1, and beauvericin). With this purpose, a QuEChERS-based extraction and ultra-high performance liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS) were used. Analytical results showed that 78 cereal samples (65%) were contaminated with at least one toxin, while 50% were contaminated with three to nine mycotoxins. T-2 toxin, citrinin, beauvericin and deoxynivalenol were the most commonly found mycotoxins (frequency of 50%, 41.6%, 40.8% and 33.3%, respectively). Fumonisins (B1 + B2), enniatins B and B1, deoxynivalenol and zearalenone registered high concentrations (289–48878 µg/kg, 1.2–5288 µg/kg, 15–4569 µg/kg, 48–2055 µg/kg and 10.4–579 µg/kg, respectively). Furthermore, concentrations higher than those allowed by the European Union (EU) were observed in 21, 8 and 1 samples for fumonisins, zearalenone and deoxinivalenol, respectively. As a conclusion, the high levels of fumonisins (B1 + B2) in maize and deoxynivalenol, zearalenone and HT-2 + T-2 toxins in wheat, represent a health risk for the average adult consumer in Algeria. These results pointed out the necessity of a consistent control and the definition of maximum allowed levels for mycotoxins in Algerian foodstuffs.
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