A STUDY ON TOTAL AFLATOXINS IN ROMANIAN MAIZE (ZEA MAYS L.) SAMPLES
Irina Smeu, Elena Mirela Cucu, Alina Alexandra Dobre, Hellene Casian
Abstract: Mycotoxin contamination represents a clear public health concern. In this context, a maize survey was conducted in Romania, to monitor the occurrence of total aflatoxins in maize samples collected during the 2019 growing season from fields located in all counties. A total of 95 maize samples were collected along with information regarding the specific location of fields, the applied agronomic practices and cropping systems.
ELISA method was used for the quantification of AFs. The results showed 88 contaminated samples. Only one sample registered aflatoxin levels higher than the limit of 10.00 μg/kg, settled by the Commission Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006 for maize to be subjected to soring or other physical treatment before human consumption or use as an ingredient in foodstuffs. The highest AFs level was 77.59 μg/kg, noted by a maize sample from Argeș County (the South-Muntenia development region, macro region 3). When referring to the analysed samples, the total aflatoxin contamination was independent of the type of hybrid, but strongly influenced by the pedo-climatic differences between counties. The southern counties proved to represent critical risk areas for aflatoxin contamination when referring to maize crops. These results highlight the importance of an effective and sustainable mycotoxin management along the food and feed chain, as well as the need of mapping the mycotoxin risk areas.
Keywords: aflatoxins, maize, Romania