Journal of Food and Nutrition Research
ISSN (Print): 2333-1119 ISSN (Online): 2333-1240 Website: Editor-in-chief: Prabhat Kumar Mandal
Open Access
Journal Browser
Journal of Food and Nutrition Research. 2014, 2(10), 671-674
DOI: 10.12691/jfnr-2-10-3
Open AccessArticle

Determination of Aflatoxins in Wheat and Wheat by-products Intended for Human Consumption, Marketed in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Felipe Machado Trombete1, , Douglas de Ávila Moraes2, Yuri Duarte Porto1, Thaís Barbosa Santos1, Glória Maria Direito3, Marcelo Elias Fraga3 and Tatiana Saldanha2

1Department of Food Technology, Institute of Technology, Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro, Seropédica, Brazil

2Department of Agronomy, Institute of Agronomy, Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro, Seropédica, Brazil

3Department of Microbiology and Immunology Veterinary, Institute of Veterinary, Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro, Seropédica, Brazil

Pub. Date: September 19, 2014

Cite this paper:
Felipe Machado Trombete, Douglas de Ávila Moraes, Yuri Duarte Porto, Thaís Barbosa Santos, Glória Maria Direito, Marcelo Elias Fraga and Tatiana Saldanha. Determination of Aflatoxins in Wheat and Wheat by-products Intended for Human Consumption, Marketed in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Journal of Food and Nutrition Research. 2014; 2(10):671-674. doi: 10.12691/jfnr-2-10-3


The consumption of wheat bran, whole-wheat grains and other whole-wheat products has grown in recent years in Brazil. These foods are considered more nutritious than the refined ones and have been associated with a reduced risk of some major chronic diseases. On the other hand, other research, carried out in Brazil, has found different groups of fungi toxins, called mycotoxins, contaminating these wheat products. Among these mycotoxins, are the aflatoxins, a group of genotoxic and carcinogenic compounds produced by Aspergillus spp. This study aimed to determine the levels of aflatoxins B1, B2, G1 and G2 in samples of whole-wheat grains and derivatives, intended for human consumption, marketed in the metropolitan region of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. One hundred and eight samples of whole-wheat grains (n=35), wheat bran (n=32), whole-wheat flour (n=26) and refined wheat flour (n=15) marketed in hypermarkets, supermarkets and health food stores were analyzed by High Performance Liquid Chromatography with fluorescence detection (HPLC-FL). Thirty-three samples (30.6%) were positive for at least one aflatoxin and the B1 form had the highest prevalence in the samples. The overall average was 0.69 µg/kg and the contamination was the highest in the grain samples, followed by bran, whole-flour and refined flour. Just one sample showed total aflatoxins levels (B1+B2+G1+G2) higher than the limit established by Brazilian legislation (5 µg/kg). The levels found in this study indicated that the presence of aflatoxins in wheat and wheat products consumed in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, are not a hazard for public health.

mycotoxins AFB1 wheat bran whole-wheat products HPLC

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


[1]  FSA. Food Standards Agency.Mycotoxins commonly found in food and feed., 2013. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed Ago. 25, 2014].
[2]  IARC, International Agency for Research on Cancer. “IARC Monographs on the evaluation of carcinogenic risks to humans - Some traditional herbal medicines, some mycotoxins, naphthalene and styrene” 82. 2002. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed Ago. 25, 2014].
[3]  FDA. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “Foodborne Pathogenic Microorganisms and Natural Toxins Handbook 2012. [Online]. Available: [Accessed Ago. 25, 2014].
[4]  EFSA. European Food Safety Authority.Aflatoxins (sum of B1, B2, G1, G2) in cereals and cereal-derived food products” 2013. Available at: [Accessed Ago. 25, 2014].
[5]  EFSA. European Food Safety Authority. “Aflatoxins in food, 2013. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed Ago. 25, 2014].
[6]  Trombete, F.M.T., Saldanha, T., Direito, G.M. and Fraga, M. E., “Aflatoxinas y tricotecenos en trigo y derivados: Incidencia de la contaminación y métodos de determinación,” Rev. Chil. Nutr., 40 (2). 181-188. Jun.2013.
[7]  Bullerman, L.B. and Bianchini A., “Stability of mycotoxins during food processing.,” Int. J. Food Microbiol., 119 (2). 140-146. Oct.2007.
[8]  Giménez, I., Herrera, M., Escobar, J., Ferruz, E., Lorán, S., Herrera, A., and Ariño, A., “Distribution of deoxynivalenol and zearalenone in milled germ during wheat milling and analysis of toxin levels in wheat germ and wheat germ oil,” Food Control, 34 (2). 268-273. Dec.2013.
[9]  Herrera, M., Juan, T., Estopaña, G., and Ariño, A. “Comparisoxynivalenol, ochratoxin A and aflatoxin B1 levels in conventional and organic durum semolina and the effect of milling,” J. Food Nutr. Res., 48 (2). 92-99. Ago.2009.
[10]  Cheli, F., Pinotti, L., Rossi, L., and Dell’Orto, V. “Effect of milling procedures on mycotoxin distribution in wheat fractions: A review,” LWT - Food Sci. Technol., 54 (2). 307–314. Dec.2013.
[11]  Vidal, A., Marín, S., Ramos, A.J., Cano-sancho, G., and Sanchis, V., “Determination of aflatoxins, deoxynivalenol, ochratoxin A and zearalenone in wheat and oat based bran supplements sold in the Spanish market,” Food Chem. Toxicol., 53 (1). 133-138. Ago.2013.
[12]  BRASIL. Ministry of Health. Resolução RDC n° 7, de 18 de Fevereiro de 2011. Dispõe sobre limites máximos tolerados (LMT) para micotoxinas em alimentos” 2011. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed Ago. 25, 2014]。
[13]  Stevenson, L., Phillips, F., O’Sullivan, K., and Walton, J., “Wheat bran: its composition and benefits to health, a European perspective.,” Int. J. Food Sci. Nutr., 63 (8).1001-1013. Dec.2012.
[14]  Okarter, N., and Liu, R.H., “Health benefits of whole grain phytochemicals.,” Crit. Rev. Food Sci. Nutr., 50 (3). 193-208. Mar.2010.
[15]  Del Ponte, E.M., Garda-Buffon, J., and Badiale-Furlong, E., “Deoxynivalenol and nivalenol in commercial wheat grain related to Fusarium head blight epidemics in southern Brazil,” Food Chem., 132 (2). 1087-1091. May.2012.
[16]  Santos, J.S., Souza, T.M., Ono, E.Y.S., Hashimoto, E.H., Bassoi, M.C., Miranda, M.Z., Itano, E.N., Kawamura, O., Hirooka, E.Y., “Natural occurrence of deoxynivalenol in wheat from Paraná State, Brazil and estimated daily intake by wheat products.,” Food Chem., 138 (1). 90-95. May.2013.
[17]  Savi, G.D., Piacentini, K.C., Tibola, C.S., and Scussel, V.M., “Mycoflora and deoxynivalenol in whole wheat grains (Triticum aestivum L.) from Southern Brazil.,” Food Addit. Contam. Part B, Surveill., 7 (3). 232-237. Sep.2014.
[18]  Almeida-Ferreira, G.C., Barbosa-Tessmann, I.P., Sega, R., and Machinski, M. “Occurrence of zearalenone in wheat and corn based products commercialized in the State of Paraná, Brazil” Braz. J. Microbiol., 44 (2). 371-375. Jan.2013.
[19]  Joubrane, K., Khoury, A.E.L., Lteif, R., Rizk, T., Kallassy, M., Hilan, C., and Maroun, R., “Occurrence of aflatoxin B1 and ochratoxin A in Lebanese cultivated wheat,” Mycotoxin Res., 27 (4). 249-257. May.2011.
[20]  Aydin, A., Gunsen, U., and Demirel, S., “Total Aflatoxin, Aflatoxin B1 and Ochratoxin A Levels in Turkish Wheat Flour,” J. Food Drug Anal., 16 (2). 48-53. Fev.2008.
[21]  Ghali, R., Hmaissia-khlifa, K., Ghorbel, H., Maaroufi, K., and Hedili, A., “Incidence of aflatoxins, ochratoxin A and zearalenone in Tunisian foods,” Food Control, 19 (9). 921-924. Sep.2008.
[22]  AOAC. Association of Official Analytical Chemists. “Official Methods of Analysis 971.22 – Standards for Aflatoxins”, Chapter 49” 2000.
[23]  Instituto Adolfo Lutz. Métodos físico-químicos para análise de alimentos. Chapter CCIV - Micotoxinas. 759–801. 2008. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed Ago. 25, 2014].
[24]  AOAC. Association of Official Analytical Chemists. Official methods of analysis 994.08 – Derivatization of standards for aflatoxins, Chapter 49. 2005.
[25]  Trombete, F.M., Santos, T.B., Direito, G.M., Fraga, M.E., Saldanha, T., “In-house validation of a method for determining aflatoxins B1, B2, G1 and G2 in wheat and wheat by-products,” Pesq. Agropec. Trop., 44 (3). 255-262. 2014.
[26]  EU. European Union. “Commission Regulation (EU) No 165/2010 of 26 February 2010 amending Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006 setting maximum levels for certain contaminants in foodstuffs as regards aflatoxins.,” 8-12. 2010.