AACC report examines DON in grain

by World Grain Staff
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ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA, U.S. — A recently released report coordinated by AACC International (AACCI) considers the occurrence of the fungus-produced toxin deoxynivalenol (DON) in the North American grain supply chain and the adequacy of current and potential management practices to maintain consumer safety.

Titled " DON Occurrence in Cereal Grains: A North American Perspective," the report asserts that current practices throughout the grain supply chain are effectively controlling the incidence of excessive DON in products produced by North American mills and that the overall occurrence of DON in North America does not appear to be different than other reported levels around the world.

The report recommends that any new DON regulations or protocols should be based upon the dietary patterns of impacted populations, identify appropriate stages for testing along the harvesting and milling continuum to maximize health outcomes, and also be practically achievable to reduce any supply and trade disruptions.

"This report brings together some of the best minds in government, industry, and academia to examine this important issue from a system-wide perspective," said Glen Weaver of Ardent Mills. "For regulators tasked with protecting public health, this unique approach provides a clear picture of how the North American grain supply chain efficiently responds to natural spikes in DON by focusing on meeting strict limits on the presence of DON in the products purchased by consumers rather than arbitrary limits placed on the grain coming from an individual farmer's field."

Published in the January-February 2015 issue of Cereal Foods World, the report was developed by 13 authors from the U.S. and Canada with broad participation and funding from numerous government and industry partners.

Data presented in the report suggests that as grain moves along the supply chain its quality is improved and levels of DON decrease due to normal grain-handling procedures and other management strategies. Specifically, the flour fraction destined for human consumption typically contains 10 to 20 times lower DON levels than those observed in the bran or germ fractions, which are mostly used for animal feed.

A copy of the report is available at:
http://www.aaccnet.org/initiatives/Pages/FoodSafetyWorldwide.aspx

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