Deoxynivalenol (DON), along with 3-acetyl-deoxynivalenol (3-ADON) and 15-acetyl-deoxynivalenol (15-ADON), occur in grains and cereal products and is often hazardous to humans and livestock. In this study, 579 wheat samples and 606 maize samples intended for consumption were collected from China in 2017 and analyzed to determine the co-occurrence of type-B trichothecenes (DON, 3-ADON, and 15-ADON). All the wheat samples tested positive for DON, while 99.83% of the maize samples were DON-positive with mean DON concentrations of 165.87 and 175.30 μg/kg, respectively. Per the Chinese standard limits for DON, 3.63% of wheat and 2.97% of the maize samples were above the maximum limit of 1000 μg/kg. The DON derivatives (3-ADON and 15-ADON) were less frequently found and were present at lower levels than DON in wheat. 3-ADON and 15-ADON had incidences of 13.53% and 76.40%, respectively, in maize. By analyzing the distribution ratio of DON and its derivatives in wheat and maize, DON (95.51%) was the predominant toxin detected in wheat samples, followed by 3.97% for the combination of DON + 3-ADON, while DON + 3-ADON + 15-ADON and DON + 15-ADON were only found in 0.17% and 0.35% of wheat samples, respectively. Additionally, a large amount of the maize samples were contaminated with DON + 15-ADON (64.19%) and DON (22.11%). The samples with a combination of DON + 3-ADON and DON + 3-ADON + 15-ADON accounted for 1.32% and 12.21%, respectively. Only one maize sample did not contain all three mycotoxins. Our study shows the necessity of raising awareness of the co-occurrence of mycotoxin contamination in grains from China to protect consumers from the risk of exposure to DON and its derivatives.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited