Mycotoxin Research

, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 181–190 | Cite as

Occurrence of different trichothecenes and deoxynivalenol-3-β-d-glucoside in naturally and artificially contaminated Danish cereal grains and whole maize plants

  • P. H. RasmussenEmail author
  • K. F. Nielsen
  • F. Ghorbani
  • N. H. Spliid
  • G. C. Nielsen
  • L. N. Jørgensen
Original Paper


Fusarium mycotoxins such as deoxynivalenol (DON) can occur in cereals conjugated to glucose and probably also to other sugars. These conjugates, which are often referred to as “masked mycotoxins”, will not be detected with routine analytical techniques. Furthermore, it is suspected that the parent toxin may again be released after hydrolysis in the digestive tracts of animals and humans. Today, our knowledge of the occurrence of these compounds in cereal grains is limited. In this paper, a LC-MS/MS method for the simultaneous determination of DON, deoxynivalenol-3-β-d-glucoside (DON-3-glucoside), 3 acetyl-DON, nivalenol, fusarenon-X, diacetoxyscirpenol, HT-2 toxin, and T-2 toxin in naturally (n = 48) and artificially (n = 30) contaminated cereal grains (wheat, barley, oat, rye triticale) is reported. The method has also been applied to whole fresh maize plant intended for production of maize silage (n = 10). The samples were collected from the harvest years 2006–2010, The results show that DON-3-glucoside and DON co-occurred in cereal grains and, especially in several of the highly contaminated samples, the concentration of the glucoside can be relatively high, corresponding to over 37 % of the DON concentration. The DON-3-glucoside levels in both the naturally and in the artificially grain inoculated with Fusarium were second only to DON, and were generally higher than those of the other tested trichothecenes, which were found at low concentrations in most samples, in many cases even below the detection limit of the method. This argues for the importance of taking DON-3-glucoside into account in the ongoing discussion within the European Community concerning exposure re-evaluations for setting changed values for the tolerable intake for DON. Our results indicate that, in the naturally contaminated grains and in the Fusarium infested cereal grains (winter and spring wheat, oat, triticale), the concentration level of DON-3-glucoside is positively correlated to the DON content. When the DON concentration is high, then the content of DON-3-glucoside will most probably also be high and vice versa.


Fusarium Toxins Deoxynivalenol (DON) Masked mycotoxin (DON-3-β-d-glucoside) Grain species LC-MS/MS 



This study was funded by the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries by a donation from the Danish Government (CO2)

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© Society for Mycotoxin Research and Springer 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. H. Rasmussen
    • 1
    Email author
  • K. F. Nielsen
    • 2
  • F. Ghorbani
    • 1
  • N. H. Spliid
    • 3
  • G. C. Nielsen
    • 4
  • L. N. Jørgensen
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Food Chemistry, DTU-FoodTechnical University of DenmarkSøborgDenmark
  2. 2.Center for Microbial Biotechnology, DTU-BiosysTechnical University of DenmarkKgs. LyngbyDenmark
  3. 3.Department of Agroecology, Science and TechnologyAarhus UniversityAarhusDenmark
  4. 4.Knowledge Center for AgricultureAarhusDenmark

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