Co-Occurrence of Aflatoxins, Ochratoxin a and Zearalenone in Barley From a Northern Region of Spain
One-hundred and twenty-three barley samples from a region of Spain (Navarra) were analysed in order to evaluate the possible co-occurrence of aflatoxins (AFB1, AFG1, AFB2 and AFG2), ochratoxin A (OTA) and zearalenone (ZEA). The results indicated that 80% of the samples presented detectable, although very low levels, of two or more mycotoxins. The most frequent combinations were AFB1 and OTA; AFB1, ZEA and OTA; and AFB1 and ZEA. In general, the statistical study did not show significant differences between levels or incidence for the mycotoxins in different years of harvest, variety of barley, farming or origin. The calculated values for daily intake were low and the risk to consumers could be assumed to be very low. However, the co-occurrence of several mycotoxins, and therefore synergic or additive effects, should be taken into account when determining permitted levels or risk assessment. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.