Introduction The occurrence of major Fusarium toxins in maize samples collected in the Black Sea region of Turkey and fate of these toxins during traditional Turkish maize bread production was investigated. Materials and methods Twenty maize samples were analysed for deoxynivalenol, zearalenone, fumonisins, T-2 and HT-2 toxins. Contamination profiles of maize samples were determined in order to choose the toxins to be monitored during bread production. Breads were produced from low or uncontaminated maize samples and from the mixture of highly contaminated ones. After baking, crust and crumb of the breads were separated and analysed by high-performance liquid chromatography standard methods with ultraviolet or fluorescence detection. Results and conclusions In total, toxin levels in 30% of the maize samples were found to be higher than the limits established by the European Union. After bread processing no significant reduction of deoxynivalenol, zearalenone and fumonisins was measured in the bread crust and crumb. According to the mass balance of mycotoxins measured in maize flour and relevant maize bread only 2.1%, 0.1% and 3.1% of the total initial amounts of deoxynivalenol, zearalenone and fumonisins, respectively, were lost. Breads were not analysed for T-2 and HT-2 as their levels in maize were quite low (<50 mu g kg(-1)).