In Entre Ríos, Argentina, corn is one of the most important cereal grains produced, being an important income for the regional economy. The aim of this work was to assess aflatoxins, zearalenone, deoxynivalenol (DON) and fumonisins (FB) in corn harvest in 2003 and 2004 in the most contaminated departments found in previous studies in selected sampling places. At the harvest time, when the trucks arrived to store plants, samples of corn were taken from seven different positions of the trucks and from five in the trailer. Composite samples were randomised reduced to 10 kg. The samples were analysed by immunological tests, by thin layer chromatography (TLC), high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and/or gas liquid chromatography-electron capture detector (GLC-ECD). In 2003 average contamination was 3.19 u.g/kg for aflatoxins, 118.5 μg/kg for deoxynivalenol, 230.8 μg/kg for zearalenone and 10200 μg/kg of total fumonisins (HPLC and ELISA quantification showed a linear correlation (r2 =0.9618), but RIDASCREEN®FAST values were 1.7 higher than HPLC values); in 2004 deoxynivalenol and zearalenone were not detected and an average of 2.0 μg/kg for aflatoxins and 4700 μg/kg for total fumonisins was found.
This province, with the earliest harvested corn in the country each summer, tends to display different contaminations from the rest of the provinces, probably due to climate characteristics, particularly hotter weather.
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