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J Agric Food Chem. 2005 May 4;53(9):3421-5.

Masked mycotoxins: determination of a deoxynivalenol glucoside in artificially and naturally contaminated wheat by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.

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  • 1Christian Doppler Laboratory for Mycotoxin Research and Institute for Plant Production Biotechnology, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna, Konrad Lorenz Strasse 20, A-3430 Tulln, Austria.


Conjugated mycotoxins, in which the toxin is usually bound to a more polar substance like glucose, are referred to as masked mycotoxins, as these substances escape routine detection methods but can release their toxic precursors after hydrolysis. This is the first report on the natural occurrence of a glucoside of deoxynivalenol (DON) in Fusarium-infected wheat and maize. To obtain appropriate standards, we chemically synthesized deoxynivalenol-3-beta-D-glucopyranoside (DON-3-glucoside) and deoxynivalenol-15-beta-D-glucopyranoside (DON-15-glucoside). The synthesis products were characterized by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. The DON-glucosides showed different collision-induced dissociation (CID) fragmentation behaviors and could therefore be distinguished. Wheat plants were either treated with DON (n = 52) or with Fusarium spp. (n = 4) at anthesis, and after harvest, wheat ears were analyzed for DON and DON-glucosides. All 56 treated wheat samples contained DON and a DON-glucoside with the same retention time, molecular mass, and CID fragmentation behavior as the synthetic DON-3-glucoside. Moreover, the DON-glucoside was also found in two out of three analyzed naturally DON-contaminated maize and in five out of five naturally contaminated wheat samples, in a range from 4 to 12% of the DON concentration. To further confirm the identity of the DON-glucoside, the compound was isolated from wheat extracts and characterized as DON-3-glucoside with NMR. The results of this study indicate the importance to consider both DON and DON-3-glucoside with regard to food and feed safety.

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