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Effect of wheat species (Triticum aestivum vs T. spelta), farming system (organic vs conventional) and flour type (wholegrain vs white) on composition of wheat flour; results of a retail survey in the UK and Germany – 1. Mycotoxin content.

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Chris SealORCiD, Dr Leo RempelosORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


Wheat is one of the main dietary sources for mycotoxins that can cause adverse health effects in humans. Here we report results of a 3-year survey which compared the effects of flour type (whole-grain vs white), wheat species (common vs spelt), and farming system (organic vs conventional) on mycotoxin concentrations in UK and German wheat flour brands.Wholegrain, conventional and organic flour contained 124, 31 and 9% higher concentrations of T-2/HT-2, DON and ZEA respectively, but concentrations of the three Fusarium mycotoxins assessed were ~10 times lower than the EC-maximum contamination levels (MCL). Thirty one percent of flour samples had Ochratoxin A (OTA) concentrations above the MCL (3 μg/kg), but OTA levels were no affected by wheat species, farming system and flour type. Results suggest that both organic and conventional primary production methods and postharvest quality assurance systems are effective for maintaining Fusarium mycotoxins, but not OTA concentrations, below the MCL.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wang J, Hasanalieva G, Wood L, Markellou E, Iversen PO, Bernhoft A, Seal C, Baranski M, Vigar V, Ernst L, Willson A, Barkla BJ, Leifert C, Rempelos L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Food Chemistry

Year: 2020

Volume: 327

Print publication date: 15/10/2020

Online publication date: 11/05/2020

Acceptance date: 06/05/2020

Date deposited: 20/05/2020

ISSN (electronic): 0308-8146

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2020.127011


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