Deoxynivalenol (DON), also referred to as vomitoxin, is a naturally occurring mycotoxin produced by several species of Fusarium fungi. Wet and cool weather from flowering time to maturity promotes infection, resulting in scab or head blight in barley, wheat, oats, and rye. Wheat infected with scab has a tendency to have lighter weight kernels, some of which are removed during normal harvesting and cleaning operations. Vomitoxin does not represent a threat to public health among the general population. However, it can—in rare cases—produce acute temporary nausea and vomiting in humans and animals. Food and Drug Administration does not have an advisory level for vomitoxin in raw wheat intended for milling purposes, and relies on processors to reduce the level in finished products for human consumption to a level that does not exceed 1 part-per-million (ppm). Advisory levels also exist for animal feeds.
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