Mycotoxin levels in maize produced in northern Italy in 2008 as influenced by growing location and FAO class of hybrid

Amedeo Pietri, Paola Battilani, Alessia Gualla, Terenzio Bertuzzi

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10 Citations (Scopus)


The occurrence of principal mycotoxins in maize produced in northern Italy in 2008 was surveyed. Some easily available information related to each sample, such as hybrid maturity class, maize growth location and mean daily meteorological data were considered in order to explain the observed wide variability in mycotoxin contamination. In addition, a previously developed simple predictive model for aflatoxin B-1 contamination in maize was tested using the 2008 data. 197 samples were collected at harvest and meteorological data (mean daily temperature, daily rainfall) were collected from 40 weather stations located near the sampling regions during the period 1 June to 30 September 2008. The results indicated that aflatoxin contamination is of concern in a restricted geographic region (south-east Po Valley). In this region, about 75.0% of the maize samples showed aflatoxin levels higher than 0.5 mu g/kg. After a slight modification, the predictive model could indicate a possible high contamination risk. Moreover, the study confirmed that maize harvested in northern Italy was contaminated with fumonisins; throughout the northern Italian plain contamination occurred at significant levels. On the other hand, contamination with trichothecenes and zearalenone was generally low. It has been observed that FAO class 300-400 maize hybrids can be more susceptible to aflatoxin contamination and less to Fusarium mycotoxins than later maturing hybrids.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-418
Number of pages10
JournalWorld Mycotoxin Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Maize
  • hybrid
  • mycotoxin


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