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Mycotoxins: T2, HT2 toxins
Mycotoxins T2 and HT2 are part of the trichothecenes group (Group A), which is mainly produced by Fusarium moulds. They develop on cereals mainly in the field, especially in cases of moisture and cold during flowering, but also during harvesting or storage in areas with a temperate climate.
Group A trichothecenes induce haematological changes in animals, as well as reprotoxic and immunotoxic effects… The FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) proposed in 2001 a provisional maximum tolerable daily intake of 60 ng/kg body weight/day for T-2 toxin and HT-2 toxin, alone or in combination (based on a study conducted in swine).
Knowledge about these mycotoxins is still lacking. The fungus responsible (Fusarium langsethiae) discovered a few years ago, does not necessarily cause symptoms on cereals. Oats are the most sensitive species. Barley, mainly spring varieties, and wheat are also affected.
Official standards have still not been set for levels of T2 and HT2 in foods. However, the recommendation 2013/165/EU on these toxins was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 4 April 2013 specifying the maximum levels in food products: wheat, amber durum wheat, oats, barley, corn, infant food. The text also encourages, in the event of repeated exceedances of these indicative levels, to investigate the factors leading to the presence of T2 and HT2 toxins.