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What Are Mycotoxins? Essay

888 words - 4 pages

The contamination with mycotoxins in foods and feeds around the world have shown to be an expressive impasse. (Hussein and Brasel, 2001). It was estimated by FAO that mycotoxins have contaminated 25% of the global's food crops, causing considerable problems in the economic aspect. (Aidoo, 2011). These toxins are compounds that many sorts of fungus produce (EFSA, 2013) and have negative impacts on humans, animals and crops, that according to Hussein and Brasel (2001), result in diseases and losses in the economy. The commonly access of most mycotoxins to food and animal feed is through contamination of cereals, plant material and other crops. (Aidoo, 2011). The fungus proliferation and ...view middle of the document...

In proper conditions (weather, specific genotypes, insect activity) it can induce 'seedling blight, stalk rot, and ear rot'. (Bennett and Klich, 2003). As exemplified by Yazar and Omurtag (2008), fumonisins are found in corn, beans, wheat noodles, rice, curry, sorghum, chili pickle and beer.

After being responsible of more than 100,000 turkey poults deaths, aflatoxins were isolated and characterized. (Bennett and Klich, 2003). Usually found in cereals, nuts and rice, these toxins occur under high temperature and great levels of humidity. Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus, which produce B aflatoxins, and B and G aflatoxins respectively, are the main Aspergillus species that produce these toxins. (WHO, 1999). As stated by Bennett and Klich (2003), A. flavus is particularly harmful in an agricultural perspective. There are others species that produce this sort of toxin, although they are less expressive, for instance Aspergillus bombycis, Aspergillus ochraceoroseus, Aspergillus nomius, and Aspergillus pseudotamari.

Discovered in 1965 as a metabolite of Aspergillus ochraceus, Ochratoxin A is a strong nephrotoxin. Others ochratoxins are metabolites of manifold species of Aspergillus, including A. auricomus, A. glaucus, A. niger, A. alliaceus, A. melleus, A. carbonarius. (Bennett and Klich, 2003). According to WHO (1999), 'ochratoxins are secondary metabolites of Aspergillus and Penicillium strains', where the ochratoxin A is the most toxic and frequent. Barley, wheat, oats, coffee beans and rye, are examples given by Bennett and Klich (2003), of where this toxin can be found.

According to Milani and Maleki (2014), the operations of food processing do not completely eliminate the mycotoxins that are usually present in cereals, fact that contributes to the contamination of finished processed foods. The production of toxin is influenced by interactions among temperature, moisture level, microflora competitiveness and the substrate. (Bennett and Klich, 2003). The occurrence of these toxins in foods and feeds, as stated...

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