Mycotoxin Research

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 181–185 | Cite as

Preliminary exposure assessment of deoxynivalenol and patulin in South Africa

  • Gordon S. ShephardEmail author
  • Liana van der Westhuizen
  • David R. Katerere
  • Maryke Herbst
  • Maya Pineiro
Original Paper


Deoxynivalenol (DON) and patulin (PAT) are mycotoxins widely regulated internationally. DON is frequently found in cereals, whereas PAT is commonly found in apple juices. A survey of South African commercial products was conducted on DON levels in maize meal and wheat flours, and on PAT levels in apple juices. DON levels in 23 wheat flour samples (mean of 16 positives, 29 µg/kg) were equal to or below 100 µg/kg and in wheat consumers contributed 6–13% of the provisional maximum tolerable daily intake (PMTDI; 1 µg/kg body weight per day) for DON set by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA). Sixteen of 18 maize meal samples were contaminated, with a mean for positive samples of 294 µg/kg, and the probable daily intakes ranged from 3.67 µg/kg body weight per day in rural infants to 1.39 µg/kg body weight per day in urban adults. PAT levels in 20 of 30 apple-juice samples were below the detection level of 10 µg/l. Mean of positive samples was 210 µg/l, with three samples exceeding the South African legal limit of 50 µg/l and the highest level (1,650 µg/l) showing the possibility of a brief but high exposure of 37 µg/kg body weight per day (or 9,250% of the JECFA PMTDI of 0.4 µg/kg body weight per day) in young children.


Deoxynivalenol Patulin Exposure assessment South Africa Mycotoxins 



The authors thank the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations for funding under the technical cooperation project (TCP/SAF/3001 T).


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Copyright information

© Society for Mycotoxin Research and Springer 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gordon S. Shephard
    • 1
    Email author
  • Liana van der Westhuizen
    • 1
  • David R. Katerere
    • 1
  • Maryke Herbst
    • 2
  • Maya Pineiro
    • 3
  1. 1.PROMEC UnitMedical Research CouncilTygerbergSouth Africa
  2. 2.Food ControlNational Department of HealthPretoriaSouth Africa
  3. 3.Food and Agriculture Organization of the United NationsRegional Office for Latin America and the CaribbeanSantiagoChile

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