Atlas of foodborne infections
transmitted by contaminated food and water

Atlas of Patogens Contents Information sources Glossary Administration

Mycotoxins

CZ: mykotoxiny
EN: mycotoxins

Occurrence:
Meat and Meat Products
Milk and Milk Products
Soft Cheeses
Hard Cheeses
Fish and Fish Products
Fruits and Vegetables
Water and Beverages
Delicatessen
Cereals
Spices
Honey
Eggs


Category:
Moulds


Foodborne Disease:
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Mycotoxins - quite stable chemical compounds produced by moulds, which may survive various food processing activities including baking and heat treatment. 


Description:
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Mycotoxins can enter the food chain through meat, eggs, milk, dairy products if animals have eaten contaminated animal feed. Bread and other grain-based products could also contain mycotoxins if crops became contaminated in the field or during storage. Various mycotoxins are deemed to be potential carcinogens. Mycotoxins can also occur in beer/spirits and wine if grain or grapes are contaminated.

They can also impair immune systems and compromise kidney/liver systems. The risk to human health will depend on the type of mycotoxins, the level of exposure and the duration of exposure. Mycotoxins could also interfere with/inhibit bacterial cultures required for various food-processing activities (e.g. yoghurt, cheese-making).

Mycotoxin producing fungi can grow on a wide range of crops/feed including cereal, grains, beans, peas, groundnuts, and fruit. Fungal growth can also occur in the field or during transport and storage. Each of these fungal species can produce various types of mycotoxins depending on climatic and environmental conditions. Individual mycotoxins rarely occur in isolation. A number of mycotoxins can be present in a contaminated feed/crop. This increases the toxic effect.

Major classes of fungi that produce mycotoxins include:

• Fusarium

• Penicillium

• Aspergillus


Pictures:

Aspergillus fumigatus
Source: Aspergillus produkce mycotoxinu - aflatoxinu
Mycotoxins
Source: Aspergillus produkce mycotoxinu - aflatoxinu

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