Legislation Cereals, Nuts and Seeds

Hereby the table about Cereals, Nuts and Seeds legislation;

(EC) No 178/2002General principles and requirements of food law establishing the European Food Safety Authority and laying down procedures in matters of food safety
(EC) No 852/2004Food
(EC) No 396/2005Maximum residue levels of in or on certain
(EC) No 2073/2005Microbiological criteria for food
(EU) No 1169/2011Provision of food information to consumers
(EC) No 1881/2006Setting maximum levels for certain contaminants in foodstuffs
The legislation table will be renewed: An update will follow soon


Table 2: Possible derived from Hazards Pathogens

B. CereusCamppylob.Cl. Bot.Cl. PerfrE. Coli 0157L. MonoSalmonellaS. AureusV. Parahae M.
Cereals, nuts++

Table 3 Common microbiological hazards

GenusPathogenic speciesGRForm, mobilityO₂T (C.)T1 (C.)pH-OpH-RaWIllness
Bacilluscereus+Rod (3-5 um length 1 um wide) spore forming, Aerobe (sometimes Fa)28,3510,0-48,06.0-7,54,9-9,3>0.91Poisoning (Tox. 1) and infection (Tox. 2)

Possible mycotoxins in Cereals, Nuts and Seeds

Table 4: Possible mycotoxins, derived from the Hazard table Mycotoxins

(toxin from fungus)FungusAgricultural and food productsADI of AWI (ug/kg body weight)EffectsLegislatory regulationsComments
Aflatoxin (five species: B1, B2, G1, G2; M1 occurs in and comes from B1) and M2 (M1 and M2 are conversion products of Aflatoxin B1, B2 into lactating mammalsAspergillus flavus Aspergillus parasiticusCereals, buckwheat, maize and maize products, cottonseed, , other types of nuts (pistachio-nuts, walnuts), spices, dried figs, milk (products), seed soy and soy products.Acute toxic; degradation of liver and kidneys. Chronic: carcinogenic (cancer forming), especially in the liver.Maximum levels according to Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006Aflatoxin B 1 is the most common and toxic carcinogen. In milk (products) the most common aflatoxin M 1 formed after that B 1 is broken down. Around 1-3% B 1 is processed in milk to M 1. M 1 is not as poisonous and carcinogenic as B 1. Next to M 1 are other break-down products of B 1 present in milk. Fungus mostly grows during transport and in the tropics, mostly characterised by high temperatures (optimum 25 °C: range 8-37) and or high humidity (>83%). In developed countries (VS), aflatoxins are mainly caused during difficult growth seasons (growth stress).
A&BAspergillus Penicillium speciesBarley, rye, wheat, rice, maize, peanuts, Brazilian nuts, peppers, Cotton seed, and Cheese.AWI of toxin A: 0,112 (JECFA, 1990) limit: 10 ug/kg food product. LD 50 (rat, oral) van toxin A: 20 mg/kgMaximum levels according to Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006Toxin A is more toxic than B. In the Netherlands, such low amounts found that the risk is perceived as very low and therefore is there no norm. Growth fungus is possible in a temperate climate. Toxin A is inactivated at > 221 °C
SterigmatocystineAspergillus versicolor;
Aspergillus ruber;
Aspergillus flavus;
Penicillium luteum;
Aspergillus nidulans,
, buckwheat, wheat, rice, peanut, soy, cheese, cheese crust, green coffee beans and melting cheese.No ADIAcute: Damage to liver, teratogenic.
Chronic: mutagenic and carcinogenic.
Maximum levels according to Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006In the Netherlands, research is conducted on the presence of toxins in grain, buckwheat and soy products. Toxins are not found and therefore is considered unnecessary.
Ergot alkaloidsClaviceps purpurea;
Claviceps paspali
Rye (mainly), wheat, barley, oats.ADI: 0,001 mg/kg (Human). Medicinal: 0,125 mg/kgHallucinations, gangrene. Carcinogenicity is not proved yet.Maximum levels according to Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006Europe: last human case was in 1951. It was a common (Ergotism). Stiff purple granules encapsulate toxins. Toxin forming already takes place at the agricultural level.
Deoxynivalenol (DON)Fusarium spp.,
Fusarium graminearum
Wheat, barley, maize, oats, rye, rice, grain flakes and bran.ADI Adults: 3 ADI, children: 1,5 (NRC, Canada 1985)Acute toxic: several effects (such as vomiting and degradation immunity). Possible tetragene. Carcinogenicity is not proven.Maximum levels according to Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006The interactions and toxicity are relatively unknown; more research is preferred. Fusarium spp. is found on grains in temperate climates, and its toxins are produced at the agricultural level.
Nivalenol (NIV)Fusarium tricinctumWheat, barley, maize, oats, rye, rice, cereal flakes and bran.Maximum levels according to Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006Mostly found next to DON, toxins are produced mainly on the agricultural level.
Fumonisin B1, B2 and B3.Fusarium moniliformeMaize and maize productsPossible carcinogenic for the oesophagus and liver.Maximum levels according to Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006
T2-toxinFusarium spp.Millet, wheat, oats, barley, rye, buckwheat, peanuts, maize and sorghum.Acute toxic: alimentary toxic aleukia (ATA) → 80% dies. Possible also mutagenic and teratogenic.Maximum levels according to Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006The growth of the fungus is stimulated by low temperatures, especially around the freezing point. Hibernating grains on the field is not recommended. Inactivation of toxins happens at temperatures higher than 200 °C. Inactivation of toxin at temperatures higher than 200 °C.
Zearalenon (ZEA)Fusarium spp.,
among others: Fusarium graminaerum
Fusarium roseum,
Fusarium culmorum,
Fusarium moniliforme
Maize, sorghum, wheat, barley.Adverse estrogenic effects on fertility. Probably mutagenic, teratogenic and carcinogenic.Maximum levels according to Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006Temperatures stimulate forming of toxins for a long time around the freezing point, and from low to moderate temperatures. Fungal growth happens mainly in the field but is also possible during storage. Inactivation of the toxins happens at temperatures higher than 165 °C.
Rubratoxine (A and B)Penicillium rubrumGround, peanuts, legumes, maize, and sunflower seeds.Acute toxicMaximum levels according to Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006Diseases are often found in animals that consume the contaminated animal feed. Inactivation of toxin A happens at temperatures higher than 214 °C and toxin B at temperatures higher than 170 °C.
Yellow-rice-toxins (o.a. citrinin, citreo-viridine)Penicillium spp. Sometimes Aspergillus spp. Penicillium citrinum and Penicillium veridicatum.Rice, wheat, barley and peanuts.Citrinin: LD 50 b for rats, oral = 50 mg/kg.Maximum levels according to Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006Citrinin gets inactivated around Temperatures higher than 172 °C; citreoviridin at Temperatures higher than 110 °C. P.Citrinum produces except citrinin, also a yellowish pigment that becomes fluorescent under UV light.

Chemical hazards

Table 5 possible derived from Hazard table chemical hazards

Chemical componentFood productLegislationComments
CyanideUnprocessed whole, ground, milled, cracked, chopped apricot kernels placed on the market for the final consumerMaximum levels according to Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006Also found in Flaxseed, Cassava, Yam root and Lima beans.
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