11 May 2001
Toxin relief for barley growers

By FARMERS WEEKLY staff

GOOD news for barley growers has emerged from an HGCA-funded study of mycotoxin levels in malting barley.

The work shows levels of the toxin deoxynivalenol (DON) produced by fungi are lower than originally thought, and easily fall within proposed EU limits, according to work conducted by Brewing Research International, Surrey.

There should be no cause for alarm about the levels of DON in either UK malting barley or UK malt, says researcher Denise Baxter.

DON is produced by fungi such as fusarium and is one of several mycotoxins under scrutiny because of potential harmful effects on humans.

Internationally, there is concern about this particular mycotoxin and legislation is likely to be introduced before too long.

“Our work has proved that UK samples have lower levels of DON than previous surveys suggest, says Dr Baxter.

Samples collected from all the malting companies in the UK were analysed for potential contaminants arising from the field and during storage.

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