T-2 toxin and its major metabolite HT-2 toxin are type A trichothecene mycotoxins produced by the Fusarium moulds, present mainly in cereals and cereal-based products. The studies quoted under this chapter bring data on the incidence of T-2 and HT-2 toxin in unprocessed cereals (n = 285) harvested in Croatia during a two-year period. They also demonstrate the influence of certain thermal food processing methods on the reduction of T-2 and HT-2 toxin in naturally contaminated cereals. In analysed cereals, the highest percentage of T-2- and HT-2-positive samples was determined in oat samples (56.9%), followed by triticale (34.5%), maize (32.1%) and barley samples (22.7%), whereas the highest mean (94.8 ± 63.7 μg/kg) and maximal concentration (420 μg/kg) of the toxins in reference were determined in maize. The summary T-2/HT-2 concentrations found in one maize and one triticale sample were higher than the indicative levels, necessitating further sampling and investigations of conditions under which the production of these toxins takes place. Thermal food processing in terms of roasting (which enabled 28.8–54.4%-toxin reduction) and especially extrusion (which enabled 73.0–92.5%-toxin reduction) efficiently reduces T-2/HT-2 levels, whereas cooking does not significantly aid in their reduction (< 10%-toxin reduction achieved).
Part of the book: Fusarium