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Survey of Raw Cereal Grains Harvested in 2004 for Ochratoxin A
Project Code: C04051
Patel, S ; Cole, J; Shah, I; Searson, E
Mycotoxins, including ochratoxin A and the trichothecenes which are natural toxins, may pose a risk to human health.
The Food Standards Agency commissioned this survey to investigate the levels of ochratoxin A in unprocessed cereal grains harvested in the UK in 2004. This action was taken due to adverse weather conditions during the harvest in 2004 and the potential for harvested grain to be stored at a high moisture content potentially leading to growth of ochratoxin A producing moulds and therefore ochratoxin A contamination. The results of this survey will be used to assess if this is a problem in the UK.
The objective of this project was to determine levels of ochratoxin A in 115 wheat samples.
The samples were collected from 6 mills at different geographical locations across the UK by an independent contractor, Robin Wilkin based on the sampling directive 98/53/EC. A separate report addressing sampling is annexed (see Annex A).
Samples of unprocessed wheat (115 samples) were analysed for ochratoxin A.
- Ochratoxin A was detected in 34 (30%) of the unprocessed wheat samples analysed at levels ranging from 0.2 to 2.5µg/kg.
The results of this survey are summarised in Table 1 to 2.
Table 1: SUMMARY OF OCHRATOXIN A OCCURRENCE IN WHEAT
|Commodity||Total Number of Samples Tested||Samples in which ochratoxin A were determined >=0.2µg/kg (LOQ)||Range of Results above LOQ* (µg/kg)||Number of samples in range (ochratoxin A, µg/kg)|
|<0.2||0.2 - 4.9||5.0 - 10.0||>10|
|Wheat||115||34||0.2 - 2.5||81||34||0||0|
*Above the limit of quantification
Advances Delivered by the Project
In total 127 samples were examined for ochratoxin A and none of the samples exceeded the EC legislation limit of 5µg/kg for unprocessed cereals.
The results from this survey provide information to enable the Agency to obtain an accurate picture of the levels of ochratoxin A in the 2004 harvest of cereal grains.
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