Zearalenone (ZEA) is a mycotoxin of immense agricultural importance. It is also known as F-2 mycotoxin and RAL. It is a potent estrogenic metabolite produced by some Fusarium and Giberella species.
Several Fusarium species, including F. graminearum, F. culmorum and F. crookwellense produce toxic substances of considerable concern to livestock and poultry producers. These include ZEA, deoxynivalenol, nivalenol and fusarenone X. Zearalenone is the primary toxin, causing infertility, abortion or other breeding problems in cattle, sheep, and especially in swine.
Zearalenone is a heat-stable mycotoxin, found in a number of cereal crops, such as maize, barley, oats, wheat, rice, sorghum and bread, in the temperate regions of Europe, Africa, Asia, America and Oceania.
The biotransformation for ZEA in animals involves the formation of two metabolites α-zearalenol and β-zearalenol. Moreover, ZEA has also been shown to be hepatotoxic, hematotoxic, immunotoxic and genotoxic. The exact mechanism of ZEA toxicity is not completely established.
Due to economic losses engendered by ZEA and its impact on human and animal health, several strategies for detoxifying contaminated foods and feeds have been developed, including physical, chemical and biological processes.
Dietary intakes of ZEA were reported from only a few countries of the world. The mean dietary intakes for ZEA have been estimated at 20 ng/kg/day for Canada, Denmark and Norway and at 30 ng/kg/day for the USA. The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) established a provisional maximum tolerable daily intake (PMTDI) for ZEA of 0.5 µg/kg of body weight.
Till date, although the Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins and Residues) Regulations, 2011 have stipulated the safety limits for a number of mycotoxins, no guidelines are available for ZEA. Therefore, it is advised to follow the FAO/WHO guidelines for the PMTDI for ZEA of 0.5 µg/kg of body weight.
Our state-of-the-art facilities provide fast and accurate screening to detect, identify, and quantify the presence of Zearalenone in food. Importantly, our food testing lab has been identified among the top 5 national level labs in India and is accredited by NABL and approved by FSSAI for testing of food.
Please contact us today using the quick query form on the right or by calling us now on +91-11-45754575 to get your food samples tested for Zearalenone.