Trichothecenes are highly toxic mycotoxins produced by Fusarium moulds in cereals during the growing season. High contamination, which can occur occasionally, is a threat to animal and public health. The trichothecenes, which will be included in the study, are deoxynivalenol, nivalenol, HT-2 and T-2 toxin. Different analytical methods based on GC-EC or GC-MS are used in European laboratories for surveys and control of trichothecenes in cereals and cereal products. Regional interlaboratory studies have revealed a high variation in analytical results and calibrants.
The main objective of the project is to improve the trichothecene analysis and to get better agreement in the analytical results between laboratories. The analytical performance will be stepwise improved through comparison and interpretation of results from 3 intercomparison studies. Based on the methodology studies a method will be suggested, which hopefully can be agreed on to standardise in co-operation with CEN. A method to routinely check purity and concentration of the trichothecenes to be used as calibrants will be developed. The stability of the trichothecenes in solutions and in contaminated cereal materials will also be studied to determine the feasibility to produce CRM. Suitable batches of contaminated cereals will be identified for future certification.
The purity of trichothecenes obtained from different suppliers has been studied and batches selected and used for production of calibrants. A procedure for routine investigation of purity and concentration of trichothecenes has been suggested and tried in laboratories. Analytical methods to be used in the intercomparison and methodological experiences and problems have been discussed at a meeting. A naturally trichothecene contaminated sample has been analysed by the laboratories to test their methods before the start of the intercomparison. Materials for the first intercomparison have been prepared and are soon going to be sent out to the laboratories.
The purity of trichothecenes to be used as calibrants will be studied by many different methods and a procedure to routinely check the purity and concentration of the trichothecenes will be suggested and tested in the participating laboratories. The analytical performance will be stepwise checked and improved in 3 intercomparison studies, starting with the end-determination and trichothecenes in solution and extracts. Studies on recovery and naturally contaminated samples will follow and finally an evaluation of the performance to certify reference materials will be done.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts