Trichothecenes are mycotoxins produced by several fungal genera, mainly Fusarium species, that can contaminate a wide range of cereals used for human and animal consumption. They are associated with various adverse health effects in animals and humans such as feed refusal, vomiting and immunotoxic effects. A method based on capillary gas chromatography with mass spectrometric detection was developed and validated in-house for the determination of nine trichothecenes in duplicate diets of young children. The trichothecenes were extracted from the sample matrix by water/ethanol (90/10). The extracts were cleaned by means of ChemElut(R) and Mycosep(R) columns. The cleaned extracts were evaporated to dryness and derivatized to trimethylsilyl ethers at room temperature. The residues were dissolved in iso-octane and washed with water. The final extracts were analysed for trichothecenes by GC-MS. The response was linear in the range tested (1-10 mg kg(-1)). Recoveries for the trichothecenes were between 70 and 111%, with the exception of nivalenol, which had a low recovery (34%). The limit of quantification for all trichothecenes was below 0.4 mg kg(-1). Seventy-four food samples from young children collected by 74 respondents in a duplicate diet study were analysed for trichothecenes with the developed method. The mean levels of deoxynivalenol, nivalenol, HT-2 toxin and T-2 toxin were 5.8, 0.3, 0.3 and 0.1 mug kg(-1), respectively. Based on the individual results, dietary intake calculations were made. For deoxynivalenol, the tolerable daily intake of 1 mug kg(-1) body weight was exceeded by nine respondents. For the combined intake of T-2 and HT-2 toxin, the temporary tolerable daily intake of 0.06 mg kg(-1) body weight was exceeded by nine respondents.
- fusarium toxins