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Mycotoxicoses in foods
Mycotoxicoses
• Consumption of foods containing mycotoxins causes mycotoxicosis.
• Mycotoxicosis is the name given to the group of illnesses and disorders in
humans and animals caused by the fungal toxic material called
mycotoxin.
• “Myco” means fungal (mold) and “toxin” represents poison.
• Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites of fungi that are recognized as
toxic to other life forms.
• Secondary metabolite: A compound that is not necessary for growth or
maintenance of cellular functions but is synthesized, generally, for the
protection of a cell or micro-organism, during the stationary phase of the
growth cycle. Many are used in foods, pharmaceuticals, and other
industrial applications.
History
• Modern mycotoxicology was not developed until the discovery of
aflatoxins in the early 1960s as the causative agent in the
• peanut meal causing the “Turkey X” disease that killed more than 10,000
turkeys fed with the contaminated meal.
• Because aflatoxins are a series of highly potent carcinogens produced by
commonly occurring Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus, research has
focused new attention on mycotoxins.
Fungal growth and Contamination
a. Field fungi : fungi that attack plants that grow in the field (occurring
prior to harvest) grow under special conditions. (Fusarium)
b. Storage fungi : Storage fungi usually invade grain or seed during storage
and are generally not present in large quantities before harvest in the field.
The most common storage fungi are species of Aspergillus and Penicillium.
Contamination occurs through spores contaminating the grain as it is going
into storage from the harvest. The development of fungi is influenced by the:
• Moisture content of the stored grain
• Temperature
• Condition of the grain going into storage
• Length of time the grain is stored and
• Amount of insect and mite activity in the grain
Mycotoxins
Aflatoxin
1. Sources :
Aspergillus flavus & A.paraciticus : Corn, peanuts
2. Factor favoring production of aflatoxins: a. Temperature : 25-30๐c
b. Grain moisture
3. Chemical characteristics:
Exhibit intense blue or green fluorescence under UV.
: aflatoxins B1, B2, G1 and G2
: aflatoxin M1 is a metabolites of AFB1 found in animal urine,
milk or tissues.
Aflatoxins are very toxic and carcinogenic mycotoxins
Aflotoxicosis is the major syndrome associated with aflatoxins
Mycotoxins
Aflatoxin
4. Mechanism of toxicologic damage
Mycotoxins
Deoxynivalenol (DON or Vomitoxin)
• Sources : Fusarium graminearum and F. culmorum):
corn, wheat, barley, oats
• Worldwide frequent natural occurrence of DON in cereal grains
has been reported.
• LD50 value ranges from 50-70mg/kg body weight
Mycotoxins
Zearalenone
1. Sources : Fusarium graminearum
corn, wheat, barley, oats
2. Factor favoring production
a. High moisture 22% - 25%
b. Alternating high and low temp. (7-21๐c)
3. Mechanism of toxicological damage
a. initiating specific RNA synthesis
b. Function as a weak estrogen.
Mycotoxins
Fumonisins
• Fumonisins (Fm) are a group of toxic metabolites produced
primarily by F. verticillioides, F. proliferatum
• Corn and corn based foods
• More than 15 structurally related Fms (B1, B2, B3, B4, C1, C4,
A1, A2, etc.), have been found since the discovery of FmB1.
• The ability of FmB1 to alter gene expression and signal
transduction pathways are considered necessary for its
carcinogenic and toxic effects
Mycotoxins
Ochratoxin & Citrinin
1. Sources : Aspergillus niger & Penicillium verrucosum
2. Factor favoring production
Warm & humid
3. Mechanism of toxicological damage
-Disrupt protein synthesis
-Bind strongly to protein (albumin)
-Interfere with synthesis of tRNA & mRNA
-Disrupt carbohydrate metabolism
-Increase the generation of free radical
4. Clinical sign
a. Acute : vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration & depression
b. Subacute to chronic : weight loss, feed efficiency, & dehydration.
Immunosupression, teratogenicity, carcinogenesis &
hemorrhage
Mycotoxins
T-2 toxin
Sources : Fusarium sporotrichioides
corn, wheat
Toxic aleukia
Patulin
Sources : Aspergillus clavatus
Apple, apple cider, pear
Mycotoxins
Ergot
1. Sources : Claviceps purpurea : barley, wheat & oats
2. Factor favoring production
Warm & humid
3. Mechanism of toxicological damage
a. potent initiators of contraction in smooth muscle
b. mimic the action of dopamine.
4. Clinical sign
a. necrosis of the feet, ears and tail
b. increased temperature., pulse & respiration rate
c. lactation does not occur
d. hyper-excitability & tremors
e. heat intolerance in cattle
Preventive Measures
Management of Mycotoxin Contamination
The economic implications of the mycotoxin problem and its potential
health threat to humans have clearly created a need to eliminate or at least
minimize mycotoxin contamination of food and feed.
While an association between mycotoxin contamination and inadequate
storage conditions has long been recognized, studies have revealed that seeds
are contaminated with mycotoxins prior to harvest . Therefore, management
of mycotoxin contamination in commodities must include both pre- and
postharvest control measures
Preventive Measures
Pre-harvest Control
Mycotoxin contamination can be reduced somewhat by using of resistant
varieties (most effective, but not all are successful) and earlier harvest
varieties:
crop rotation,
adequate irrigation,
control of insect pests.
Significant control of toxin contamination is expected to be dependent on a
detailed understanding of the:
• physiological and environmental factors that affect the
biosynthesis of the toxin,
• the biology and ecology of the fungus,
• the parameters of the host plant–fungal interactions.
Preventive Measures
Postharvest Control
After harvest, crop should not be allowed to over-winter in the field as well
as subjected to birds and insects damage or mechanical damage.
Grains should be cleaned and dried quickly to less than 10–13% moisture
and stored in a clean area to avoid insect and rodent infestation.
Postharvest mycotoxin contamination is prevalent in most tropical countries
due to:
• a hot, wet climate coupled with
• subadequate methods of harvesting,
(handling, and storage practices),
which often lead to severe fungal growth and mycotoxin contamination of
food and feed.
Preventive Measures
• Sometimes contaminated food has been diverted to animal feed to
prevent economic losses and health concerns. However, this is not a
solution to the contamination problem.
• Irradiation has been suggested as a possible means of controlling insect
and microbial populations in stored food, and consequently, reducing the
hazard of mycotoxin production under these conditions .
• Significant emphasis has been placed on detoxification methods to
eliminate the toxins from the contaminated lots or at least reduce the
toxin hazards by bringing down the mycotoxin levels under the
acceptable limits.
Preventive Measures
I. Removal or Elimination of Mycotoxins.
Since most of the mycotoxin burden in contaminated commodities is
localized to a relatively small number or seeds or kernels removal of these
contaminated seeds/kernels is effective in detoxifying the commodity.
Methods currently used include:
(a) physical separation by:
identification and removal of damaged seed;
mechanical or electronic sorting;
flotation and density separation of damaged or contaminated seed;
physical screening and subsequent removal of damaged kernels by
air blowing;
washing with water
use of specific gravity methods
All these methods have shown some effect for some mycotoxins, including
DON, FmB, and AFB1
(b) removal by filtration and adsorption onto filter pads, clays, activated
charcoal, etc.,
(c) removal of the mycotoxin by solvent extraction
Preventive Measures
II. Inactivation of Mycotoxins
When removal or elimination of mycotoxins is not possible, mycotoxins
can be inactivated by:
(a) physical methods such as thermal inactivation, photochemical or
gamma irradiation,
(b) chemical methods such a treatment of commodities with acids,
alkalies, aldehydes, oxidizing agents, and gases like chlorine, sulfur dioxide,
NaNO2, ozone and ammonia,
(c) biological methods such as fermentations and enzymatic digestion
that cause the breakdown of mycotoxins.

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6T. AGM Mycotoxicoses in food.pptx

  • 2. Mycotoxicoses • Consumption of foods containing mycotoxins causes mycotoxicosis. • Mycotoxicosis is the name given to the group of illnesses and disorders in humans and animals caused by the fungal toxic material called mycotoxin. • “Myco” means fungal (mold) and “toxin” represents poison. • Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites of fungi that are recognized as toxic to other life forms. • Secondary metabolite: A compound that is not necessary for growth or maintenance of cellular functions but is synthesized, generally, for the protection of a cell or micro-organism, during the stationary phase of the growth cycle. Many are used in foods, pharmaceuticals, and other industrial applications.
  • 3. History • Modern mycotoxicology was not developed until the discovery of aflatoxins in the early 1960s as the causative agent in the • peanut meal causing the “Turkey X” disease that killed more than 10,000 turkeys fed with the contaminated meal. • Because aflatoxins are a series of highly potent carcinogens produced by commonly occurring Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus, research has focused new attention on mycotoxins.
  • 4. Fungal growth and Contamination a. Field fungi : fungi that attack plants that grow in the field (occurring prior to harvest) grow under special conditions. (Fusarium) b. Storage fungi : Storage fungi usually invade grain or seed during storage and are generally not present in large quantities before harvest in the field. The most common storage fungi are species of Aspergillus and Penicillium. Contamination occurs through spores contaminating the grain as it is going into storage from the harvest. The development of fungi is influenced by the: • Moisture content of the stored grain • Temperature • Condition of the grain going into storage • Length of time the grain is stored and • Amount of insect and mite activity in the grain
  • 5. Mycotoxins Aflatoxin 1. Sources : Aspergillus flavus & A.paraciticus : Corn, peanuts 2. Factor favoring production of aflatoxins: a. Temperature : 25-30๐c b. Grain moisture 3. Chemical characteristics: Exhibit intense blue or green fluorescence under UV. : aflatoxins B1, B2, G1 and G2 : aflatoxin M1 is a metabolites of AFB1 found in animal urine, milk or tissues. Aflatoxins are very toxic and carcinogenic mycotoxins Aflotoxicosis is the major syndrome associated with aflatoxins
  • 7. Mycotoxins Deoxynivalenol (DON or Vomitoxin) • Sources : Fusarium graminearum and F. culmorum): corn, wheat, barley, oats • Worldwide frequent natural occurrence of DON in cereal grains has been reported. • LD50 value ranges from 50-70mg/kg body weight
  • 8. Mycotoxins Zearalenone 1. Sources : Fusarium graminearum corn, wheat, barley, oats 2. Factor favoring production a. High moisture 22% - 25% b. Alternating high and low temp. (7-21๐c) 3. Mechanism of toxicological damage a. initiating specific RNA synthesis b. Function as a weak estrogen.
  • 9. Mycotoxins Fumonisins • Fumonisins (Fm) are a group of toxic metabolites produced primarily by F. verticillioides, F. proliferatum • Corn and corn based foods • More than 15 structurally related Fms (B1, B2, B3, B4, C1, C4, A1, A2, etc.), have been found since the discovery of FmB1. • The ability of FmB1 to alter gene expression and signal transduction pathways are considered necessary for its carcinogenic and toxic effects
  • 10. Mycotoxins Ochratoxin & Citrinin 1. Sources : Aspergillus niger & Penicillium verrucosum 2. Factor favoring production Warm & humid 3. Mechanism of toxicological damage -Disrupt protein synthesis -Bind strongly to protein (albumin) -Interfere with synthesis of tRNA & mRNA -Disrupt carbohydrate metabolism -Increase the generation of free radical 4. Clinical sign a. Acute : vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration & depression b. Subacute to chronic : weight loss, feed efficiency, & dehydration. Immunosupression, teratogenicity, carcinogenesis & hemorrhage
  • 11. Mycotoxins T-2 toxin Sources : Fusarium sporotrichioides corn, wheat Toxic aleukia Patulin Sources : Aspergillus clavatus Apple, apple cider, pear
  • 12. Mycotoxins Ergot 1. Sources : Claviceps purpurea : barley, wheat & oats 2. Factor favoring production Warm & humid 3. Mechanism of toxicological damage a. potent initiators of contraction in smooth muscle b. mimic the action of dopamine. 4. Clinical sign a. necrosis of the feet, ears and tail b. increased temperature., pulse & respiration rate c. lactation does not occur d. hyper-excitability & tremors e. heat intolerance in cattle
  • 13. Preventive Measures Management of Mycotoxin Contamination The economic implications of the mycotoxin problem and its potential health threat to humans have clearly created a need to eliminate or at least minimize mycotoxin contamination of food and feed. While an association between mycotoxin contamination and inadequate storage conditions has long been recognized, studies have revealed that seeds are contaminated with mycotoxins prior to harvest . Therefore, management of mycotoxin contamination in commodities must include both pre- and postharvest control measures
  • 14. Preventive Measures Pre-harvest Control Mycotoxin contamination can be reduced somewhat by using of resistant varieties (most effective, but not all are successful) and earlier harvest varieties: crop rotation, adequate irrigation, control of insect pests. Significant control of toxin contamination is expected to be dependent on a detailed understanding of the: • physiological and environmental factors that affect the biosynthesis of the toxin, • the biology and ecology of the fungus, • the parameters of the host plant–fungal interactions.
  • 15. Preventive Measures Postharvest Control After harvest, crop should not be allowed to over-winter in the field as well as subjected to birds and insects damage or mechanical damage. Grains should be cleaned and dried quickly to less than 10–13% moisture and stored in a clean area to avoid insect and rodent infestation. Postharvest mycotoxin contamination is prevalent in most tropical countries due to: • a hot, wet climate coupled with • subadequate methods of harvesting, (handling, and storage practices), which often lead to severe fungal growth and mycotoxin contamination of food and feed.
  • 16. Preventive Measures • Sometimes contaminated food has been diverted to animal feed to prevent economic losses and health concerns. However, this is not a solution to the contamination problem. • Irradiation has been suggested as a possible means of controlling insect and microbial populations in stored food, and consequently, reducing the hazard of mycotoxin production under these conditions . • Significant emphasis has been placed on detoxification methods to eliminate the toxins from the contaminated lots or at least reduce the toxin hazards by bringing down the mycotoxin levels under the acceptable limits.
  • 17. Preventive Measures I. Removal or Elimination of Mycotoxins. Since most of the mycotoxin burden in contaminated commodities is localized to a relatively small number or seeds or kernels removal of these contaminated seeds/kernels is effective in detoxifying the commodity. Methods currently used include: (a) physical separation by: identification and removal of damaged seed; mechanical or electronic sorting; flotation and density separation of damaged or contaminated seed; physical screening and subsequent removal of damaged kernels by air blowing; washing with water use of specific gravity methods All these methods have shown some effect for some mycotoxins, including DON, FmB, and AFB1 (b) removal by filtration and adsorption onto filter pads, clays, activated charcoal, etc., (c) removal of the mycotoxin by solvent extraction
  • 18. Preventive Measures II. Inactivation of Mycotoxins When removal or elimination of mycotoxins is not possible, mycotoxins can be inactivated by: (a) physical methods such as thermal inactivation, photochemical or gamma irradiation, (b) chemical methods such a treatment of commodities with acids, alkalies, aldehydes, oxidizing agents, and gases like chlorine, sulfur dioxide, NaNO2, ozone and ammonia, (c) biological methods such as fermentations and enzymatic digestion that cause the breakdown of mycotoxins.