, Volume 162, Issue 1, pp 57–63 | Cite as

Natural Occurrence of Mycotoxins in Staple Cereals from Ethiopia

  • Amare AyalewEmail author
  • Hartmut Fehrmann
  • Johann Lepschy
  • Robert Beck
  • Dawit Abate


The occurrence of mycotoxins in barley, sorghum, teff (Eragrostis tef) and wheat from Ethiopia has been studied. Samples were analyzed for aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), ochratoxin A (OTA), deoxynivalenol (DON), nivalenol (NIV) and zearalenone (ZEN) using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and for fumonisins (FUM) using enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). AFB1 and OTA were detected in samples of all the four crops. AFB1 was detected in 8.8% of the 352 samples analyzed at concentrations ranging from trace to 26 μg kg−1. OTA occurred in 24.3% of 321 samples at a mean concentration of 54.1 μg kg−1 and a maximum of 2106 μg kg−1. DON occurred in barley, sorghum and wheat at 40–2340 μg kg−1 with an overall incidence of 48.8% among the 84 mainly ‘suspect’ samples analyzed; NIV was co-analyzed with DON and was detected at 40 μg kg−1 in a wheat sample and at 50, 380, and 490 μg kg−1 in three sorghum samples. FUM and ZEN occurred only in sorghum samples with low frequencies at concentrations reaching 2117 and 32 μg kg−1, respectively. The analytical results indicate higher mycotoxin contamination in sorghum, which could be related to the widespread storage of sorghum grain in underground pits leading to elevated seed moisture contents. This is the first report on the occurrence of OTA in teff.


barely Eragrostis tef mycotoxin natural occurrence sorghum wheat 



Aflatoxin B1








Ochratoxin A




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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amare Ayalew
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hartmut Fehrmann
    • 2
  • Johann Lepschy
    • 3
  • Robert Beck
    • 3
  • Dawit Abate
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Plant SciencesAlemaya UniversityAlemayaEthiopia
  2. 2.Institut für Planzenpathologie und PflanzenschutzUniversität GöttingenGöttingenGermany
  3. 3.Bayerische Landesanstalt für LandwirtschaftFreisingGermany
  4. 4.Department of BiologyAddis Ababa UniversityAddis AbabaEthiopia

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