Fusarium graminearum is one of the most important pathogens affecting wheat production in Paraguay. This fungus decreases yield and grain quality; the most important consequence is the production of mycotoxins from the trichothecene group, secondary metabolites toxic to humans and other animals. The toxin reported in Paraguay is deoxynivalenol, which has effects on the gastrointestinal tract and immune system. To determine the presence of deoxynivalenol in flour and baked goods, samples of wholemeal flour and white flour, white and wholemeal bread, and bran crackers were carried out in the Gran Asunción Area. The presence of deoxynivalenol was determined by monoclonal antibodies through the use of quantitative test strips. The results were variable and below those established by international standards.
In the developing countries, the control of the quality and safety of food is practically nonexistent. In Paraguay, there is no legislation on the maximum levels of deoxynivalenol in wheat and derivatives. As this cereal and its derivative products are highly susceptible to contamination by Fusarium and its mycotoxins, it is a priority to initiate controls and establish bases for legislation on maximum acceptable limits in these products. Also highlight the need at country level of the application of high efficiency and sensitive techniques for quantification mycotoxins in food.
Corn is one of the most important economic, social and cultural agricultural products in Paraguay, being the main ingredient of several typical foods. Due to the cross-pollination of this plant, it can be contaminated with transgenic maize pollen found in nearby fields. The general objective of this research was to evaluate the presence of transgenic sequences in corn grains marketed in the Departments of Itapúa, Alto Paraná and Canindeyú for the preparation of flour for human consumption. We studied 18 samples of corn kernels marketed for the preparation of flour from the Departments of Itapúa, Alto Paraná and Canindeyú. The DNA was extracted using the Trimethyl Ammonium Bromide (CTAB) protocol. For the detection of the transgenic sequences, the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method was used. The bands were analyzed visually and using the ImageJ program. The results showed the presence of 5 positive samples for the P-35S-CaMv promoter and 5 samples for the T-nos terminator, none of them presented both sequences sought in the same construction; this indicates that 10 of 18 samples were contaminated with transgenic sequences. These findings show that transgenic products are available in Paraguayan local markets without consumers being aware of this situation.
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