Aflatoxin B1 and sterigmatocystin in wheat and wheat products from supermarkets in China

Wheat is an important cereal but it is often contaminated with mycotoxins. The natural occurrence of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) and sterigmatocystin (STC) was determined in 178 food samples (32 wheat samples and 146 wheat products) purchased from Chinese supermarkets. The methodology was validated, the wheat and wheat products samples were treated with a modified QuEChERS (quick, easy, cheap, effective, rugged, and safe) and quantified by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). From these samples 18.8% of wheat and 8.2% of cracker samples were contaminated with AFB1. Mean levels were 0.06 µg/kg and 0.05µg/kg, respectively. There was no AFB1 contamination in white bread or whole meal bread. Meanwhile 53.1% of wheat, 59.2% of crackers, 20.8% of white bread and 16% of whole meal bread samples were contaminated with STC. The mean levels were 0.07, 0.79, 0.12 and 0.12 µg/kg respectively. Although the levels were low, this demonstrates the need for more comprehensive surveys for these two mycotoxins in wheat and wheat products from China.