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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Determination of Deoxynivalenol in Infant Cereal by Immunoaffinity Column Cleanup and High-Pressure Liquid Chromatography-UV Detection

item Dombrink Kurtzman, Mary Ann
item Poling, Stephen
item Kendra, David

Submitted to: Journal of Food Protection
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/21/2009
Publication Date: 1/15/2010
Citation: Dombrink Kurtzman, M., Poling, S.M., Kendra, D.F. 2010. Determination of Deoxynivalenol in Infant Cereal by Immunoaffinity Column Cleanup and High-Pressure Liquid Chromatography-UV Detection. Journal of Food Protection. 73(6):1073-1076.

Interpretive Summary: In this research, we developed a method to measure the mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON), a potential human health issue when present at low levels in commercial dehydrated baby cereal. We successfully modified a method using a commercially available immunoaffinity column which contained antibodies recognizing DON. Using the method we developed, it is possible to detect DON at a level that is 20-fold lower than the European Commission limit for cereal-based infant foods. Because this method incorporates already available commercial equipment and antibodies, it has greater potential to be used by producers and regulatory agencies in various countries to directly benefit human health.

Technical Abstract: A study of deoxynivalenol (DON) in cereal-based baby food, a primary source of the first solid food for infants, was carried out to develop a method able to detect the presence of DON at low concentrations. Deoxynivalenol, a mycotoxin that has been isolated from grains and feed around the world, affects both animal and human health producing diarrhea, vomiting, gastrointestinal inflammation, and immunomodulation. It is produced primarily by Fusarium graminearum, is associated with toxicosis of swine and responsible for negative effects on the active transport of some nutrients in the small intestine of chickens. An aqueous extract of infant cereal was cleaned by means of an immunoaffinity column. After the eluate was evaporated and redissolved, DON was determined HPLC-UV. The level of quantification for DON was 10 ppb for three types of infant cereal (mixed, barley, and oatmeal), while the level of detection was 5 ppb. The level we have developed can measure DON between 10 to 500 ppb. An advisory level of 1 ppm for wheat products has been established by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States, but European Communities (EC) regulations have been set at 200 ppb for cereal-based foods for infants. Only one of 52 samples of barley-, mixed-, or oat-based infant cereal purchased in 2008 and 2009 in the U.S. exceeded the European standard.

Last Modified: 07/27/2017
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