This study was conducted to give a preliminary estimation of deoxynivalenol (DON) dietary exposure in Japanese university students (n = 30, aged 22-25 years) using a biomarker approach and to examine the correlation between wheat food intake and DON exposure levels. Spot urine samples were collected from 30 students of Azabu University, Tokyo. Urine samples were treated with enzyme digestion (for total DON measurement) and without (for unconjugated DON analysis) before clean-up using an immuno-affinity column and analysis using an LC-MS method, with a 13C15- DON internal standard used for accurate quantification. The limit of detection for this method is 0.5 ng/mL urine. The geometric mean (95% CI) of DON concentration was 2.03 (1.64 - 6.87) ng per mL urine. Ninety of the urine samples had detectable levels of urinary DON. The DON dietary intake exposure estimation suggested that one out of the 30 subjects had an intake of DON that exceeded Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) provisional maximum tolerable daily intake (PMTDI) level. Mean ratio of free DON to total DON was determined to be 19%. Wheat intake assessed using a basic food frequent questionnaire method did not show a significant correlation with the urinary DON level.

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