The effect of processing on mycotoxin content in milling fractions has been investigated in 10 samples of durum wheat contaminated with T-2 and HT-2 toxins at levels ranging from 97 to 5,954 μg/kg (sum of T-2 and HT-2 toxins). Either naturally contaminated samples or samples artificially inoculated with Fusarium sporotrichioides under field conditions were used. A method based on liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry coupled with immunoaffinity column cleanup was validated in-house for the simultaneous analysis of both toxins in a variety of matrices, including uncleaned wheat, cleaned wheat, screenings, bran, red dog, fine middlings, and semolina. Mean recoveries from samples spiked with T-2 and HT-2 toxins at levels of 100 μg/kg ranged from 85 to 107%, with relative standard deviations (RSDs) lower than 14%. The milling process led to an increase of T-2 and HT-2 toxin contents up to 13- and 5-fold in screenings and bran, respectively, compared with occurrence in the uncleaned wheat; however, an overall reduction of T-2 and HT-2 toxins by 54% (RSD, 20%) and 89% (RSD, 3%) was observed in cleaned wheat and in semolina, respectively.

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Author notes

Present address: Open Fields Srl, Strada Consortile 2, 43044 Collecchio (Pr), Italy.