Mycotoxins detected
in wheat and barley
harvested in Serbia
in 2019 and 2020

What was the level of contamination of wheat and barley with mycotoxins in 2019 and 2020? We find out in this survey with samples from Serbia.

Jog Raj*, Hunor Farkaš, Zdenka Jakovcevic and Marko Vasiljevic

PATENT CO, DOO., Vlade Ćetkovića 1A, Mišićevo 24211, Serbia

*Corresponding author:

The aim of the present study was to screen wheat and barley samples for mycotoxins harvested in 2019 and 2020.

The wheat and barley samples were collected from various regions of Serbia. These samples were analysed by LC-MS/MS triple quad (Agilent 6460 series) based multi-mycotoxin method for quantication of all mycotoxins present (Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), B2, G1 and G2, Ochratoxin A (OTA), Zearalenone (ZEN), Deoxynivalenol (DON), Fumonisin B1 and B2 (FB1 & FB2), T-2 & HT-2 toxins) that are regulated in the EU in feed by EU Directive 2002/32/EC, 2006/576/EC and 2013/165/EU.

The results are summarised as shown below.


In 2019, 97% of the barley samples were contaminated with one or more mycotoxins. In 2020, 23% of samples were contaminated with one or more mycotoxins. This data shows that barley harvested in 2020 is less contaminated with mycotoxins as compared to 2019.

Figure 1. Number (%) of mycotoxins detected in barley samples (2019 and 2020)

The mean contamination levels of OTA, ZEN, DON, FB1, HT-2 and T-2 were 8 ppb, 114 ppb, 3175 ppb, 51 ppb, 27 ppb and 19 ppb (Table 1). Aflatoxins were not detected in barley harvested in 2019. In 2020, ZEN, DON, HT-2, and T-2 with a level of 203 ppb, 1105 ppb, 29 ppb and 28 ppb were detected in barley samples. These results showed the co-occurrence of Fusarium mycotoxins and OTA in barley samples from Serbia, but the levels were higher in 2019 as compared to 2020 harvest.

Table 1. Mycotoxin contamination levels detected (ppb) in the barley samples from Serbia in 2019 and 2020

The data in Table 2 shows that in 2019 OTA in 15%, ZEN in 34%, DON in 67%, FB1 in 2%, HT-2 in 47% and T-2 in 21% samples were detected in barley samples. In 2020 ZEN in 4%, DON in 11%, HT-2 in 19 % and T-2 in 7% samples were detected in barley samples using LC-MS/MS.

Table 2. % positives of barley samples from Serbia in 2019 and 2020 barley harvest


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