The exposure to Alternaria toxins from grain and grain-based products has been reported to be related to human esophageal cancer in China. In this study, a total of 370 freshly harvested wheat kernel samples collected from Anhui province of China in 2015 were analyzed for the four Alternaria toxins tenuazonic acid (TeA), tentoxin (TEN), alternariol (AOH) and alternariol monomethyl ether (AME) by high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method (HPLC-MS/MS). TeA was the predominant toxin detected followed by TEN, AOH and AME. The concentrations of the four Alternaria toxins varied geographically. The samples from Fuyang district showed higher TEN concentration levels than the other regions studied (p < 0.05). Furthermore, 95% (352/370) of the wheat samples were positive for more than one type of Alternaria toxins. Positive correlation was observed between concentration levels of TeA and TEN, AOH and AME, TeA and AOH, and the total dibenzopyrone derivatives (AOH + AME) and TeA. Results indicate that there is a need to set the tolerance limit for Alternaria toxins in China, and more data on the contamination of these toxins in agro-products is required.
Xu, W., Han, X., Li, F., & Zhang, L. (2016). Natural occurrence of Alternaria toxins in the 2015 wheat from anhui province, China. Toxins, 8(11). https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins8110308