The occurrence of ergot alkaloids in wheat harvested in Albania was investigated. A total of 71 samples of winter wheat collected in 2014 and 2015 were analysed for the 12 most important ergot alkaloids using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. In the harvesting year 2014, 48.6% of samples were contaminated with ergot alkaloids, whereas in 2015 only 19.4% of samples were contaminated. In 2014, the concentrations of total ergot alkaloids ranged from 17.3 to 975.4 μg kg-1, and in 2015 they ranged from 10.3 to 390.5 μg kg-1. The samples contained from one to nine ergot alkaloids. The most frequent were ergometrine, ergosine and ergocristine, and the least frequent were ergocryptine, ergocryptinine and ergocorninine.
Keywords: Albania; Ergot alkaloids; liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry; wheat.