Mycotoxin Content of Organic and Conventional Oats from Southeastern Poland

Abstract: In this study, we investigated the influence of organic and conventional farming systems on mycotoxin levels in oats from 2006 to 2008. The relationship between mycotoxin contents was also calculated. Data were analysed separately for each factor (year – three values and production systems – two values) and their combinations, e.g. analysis of samples harvested in entire three-year period of this study from organic farming. Only one significant difference occurred between organic and conventional farming systems when samples from entire three-year period of this study were included – the concentration of diacetoscirpenol (DAS) was higher in samples from conventional farms. Statistical analysis did not reveal any influence of the cropping system on the concentrations of remaining mycotoxins. However, the number of mycotoxin-positive samples was higher in organic farming in comparison to conventional production. Furthermore, considering only the mycotoxin-positive samples, the concentrations of deoxynivalenol (DON), T-2, HT-2, DAS, nivalenol (NIV), and aflatoxins (B1, B2, G1 and G2) were slightly higher, but not statistically significant, in samples from conventional farming. Most correlations of the mycotoxin content occurred in oat grain samples from organic rather than conventional farms. Numerous positive correlations were found between NIV and DAS and between NIV, DAS and other mycotoxins. Only one low negative correlation was detected for the concentration of DON and NIV when all samples from organic production system were considered. Low and moderate positive correlations were found between aflatoxins, ochratoxins and other mycotoxins. The level of aflatoxins and ochratoxins was correlated only in samples from organic farming. This is one of the few reports presenting correlations between mycotoxins on the background of organic and conventional farming systems.

Reference: Kuzdraliński, A., et al. (2013). Mycotoxin content of organic and conventional oats from southeastern Poland. Food Control, 33(1), 68-72. Available online at