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Fusarium in Cereals

RHM Technology, Ltd
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The poisonous fusarium mycotoxins (trichothecenes, zearalenone and fumonisins) frequently occur in cereal grains that are intended for food production in the UK. The process of converting grains into food for consumers has significant effects on the levels of toxins in the final food and it has been demonstrated that mycotoxins often survive the processes employed in the production of retail food of cereal origin.

This project aims to measure the levels of certain important fusarium mycotoxins in UK cereals raw materials and then determine the level of these toxins at key stages during the food processing chain and the levels in the final food products.

The knowledge generated from this project, alongside the closely related DEFRA Food LINK project (FQS64) 'The Fate of Fusarium Mycotoxins in the Cereal Food Chain' will provide data showing concentrations of these mycotoxins in commercial consignments of raw grain and the related concentrations during milling and in the consumer products before they go on sale. These data will contribute to discussions aimed at setting the maximum permissible concentrations for future legislation.

More information
The studies and information gathering activities within the project will involve taking samples of raw cereals, milled cereal fractions, intermediate materials during processing at key steps and from finished products at the pre-packaging stage. The samples will be submitted by industrial collaborators in the DEFRA Food LINK project FQS64. Maize will then be screened for the fusarium toxins (trichothecenes (DON, NIV, T2 and HT2), zearalenone and fumonisins B1, B2, B3), while wheat and oats will be screened for the trichothecenes toxins (DON, NIV, T2 and HT2) and zearalenone toxin.

Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the Food Standards Agency Research webpage.

Funding Source
Food Standards Agency
Project number
Natural Toxins
Grains, Beans, Legumes