Exposure of Finns to mycotoxins from cereals is low – oats are the most susceptible of the cereals to mycotoxins


<div>Cereals contain naturally emerging mycotoxins, which weaken the human immune system. Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira has assessed the exposure of the Finns to Fusarium mycotoxins from cereals. The exposure is mainly within tolerable limits. </div>

Of the Finnish cereals, oats proved to be the most susceptible to mycotoxins. Most of the mycotoxins disappear with the dehulling of raw cereals. This is why the cereal products sold to the consumer are safe to eat. If oats are consumed unhulled, consumers of large amounts could in theory exceed the maximum tolerable daily intake of T-2 and HT-2 toxins. These types of unhulled products are not available commercially.

Evira continually monitors the Fusarium toxin levels that are set for cereals. In addition it is expected that the operators carry out in-house controls, in order to ensure that the raw material is of high quality and meets the regulations regardless of the varying conditions for production. The in-house control should especially be targeted at oats and oat-based products, where the highest levels of deoxynivalenol and T-2 and HT-2 toxins are found.

More information on Evira’s Internet pages (in Finnish): http://www.evira.fi/portal/fi/elintarvikkeet/elintarviketietoa/vierasaineet/hometoksiinit_viljassa

For more information please contact:
Research Professor Anja Hallikainen, Evira/Risk Assessment Unit (calculations of intake)
tel. 050 386 8433, 020 77 24287
Senior Officer Ulla Karlström/Product Safety, (needs for control),
tel. 040 487 7798, 020 77 24288
Head of Laboratory Veli Hietaniemi, MTT Agrifood Research Finland (analytics and research)
tel. 040 539 2266

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