Trichothecenes With a Special Focus on DON

Toxicology Letters. 2004;153(1):1-190; also published in the ILSI Europe Report Series

A variety of Fusarium fungi, which are common soil fungi, produce a number of mycotoxins of the class of trichothecenes. The ILSI Europe Natural Toxin Task Force organised a workshop on trichothecenes with a special focus on deoxynivalenol (DON). The aims of this two-day interactive meeting of experts were to:

  • Review the current knowledge on trichothecenes with respect to occurrence and analytical methodologies;
  • Identify additional issues that should be addressed and gaps in knowledge;
  • Suggest ways forward in providing advice to risk managers on problem formulationand reducing the uncertainties in the risk assessment and the development of prevention strategies.

Overall discussion points and conclusions focused on five different headings: prevention, sampling and analytical methods, exposure assessment, toxicology, and exposures above the TDI. It was agreed that the strategies for prevention of Fusarium infections of grains should be based on the principles of HACCP from the field to consumption, including the selection of cultivars, improved agricultural practices, better moisture control and changes in current processing practices. Measures to improve screening, control and exposure data were also identified. It was agreed that only more and better toxicological data could reduce the uncertainties in the evaluation of TDI’s and provide the basis for the use of more accurate safety factors. The quality of the analytical data and consumption data needs to be improved in order to provide more realistic exposure estimates.

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The summary report of the workshop has also been published in the ILSI Europe Report Series. To download this report, click here.

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