Alternaria toxins are mycotoxins produced by Alternaria species that cause plant diseases on many crops. They are the principal contaminating fungi in wheat, sorghum and barley, and have also been reported to occur in oilseeds such as sunflower and rapeseed, tomato, apples, citrus fruits, olives and several other fruits and vegetables. In addition, some Alternaria toxins are genotoxic in vitro and/or fetotoxic in rats. This published dataset contains data related to years 1995, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008 and 2009. Occurrence data were received from two Member States, which provided 11,730 occurrence results in food, and complemented with data published in the scientific literature. This data has been used for the preparation of the Scientific Opinion on the risks for animal and public health related to the presence of Alternaria toxins in feed and food adopted in 2011.
Several chromatography-based techniques are suitable for Alternaria toxin quantification in foods and feeds, and liquid chromatography coupled to (tandem) mass spectrometry has become the method of choice. The limiting factors for the analysis of Alternaria toxins are the efficiency of sample cleanup, the availability of (sufficient) amounts of standards and the lack of reference materials for food and feed. In the dataset published the following analytical methods have been used: HPLC-RI; Chromatographic tests (Not Specified); HPLC-UV; Standard Chromatographic tests (paper- thin layer- and column chromatography); LC-MS-MS (QqQ); HPLC-HG-AFS.
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