Mycotoxins in masks – a new food and feed saftey challenge?

Tuesday, September 30, 2014


The realization is spreading that toxins of toxinogenic molds colonizing host plants during plant growing are altered by the host plants as part of their defense: extractable conjugates are formed from them („masked” mycotoxins), or they are immobilized as cell wall components or are bound to other biopolymers in a way that they cannot be extracted („hidden” mycotoxins). Masked or hidden mycotoxins are not taken into consideration when estimating mycotoxin exposure, under current routine analytical and control-legislative conditions. Examples of just such mycotoxin derivatives, and analytical and other research tasks related to them are given in the present brief overview, which is aimed at raising awareness.


2. Introduction

Several mold species have become feeding-animal health and food supply problems of decisive significance in the last few decades, due to their production of different toxins [1]. Therefore, determination of contamination caused by mycotoxins is among the important tasks of food and feed control, and also of legislation. The problem has been increasing worldwide, because of weather extremities, causing increased stress to our cultivated crops, becoming more frequent and severe, among other things, and also because of the increased exposure of the host plants to molds [2],[3]. The most important challenge is posed by toxinogenic molds colonizing/contaminating corn and wheat, which are among cereals forming the basis of our food supply. This problem affects all populated areas of the Earth [4], although the nature of mycotoxins and main host plants are different in the different regions.

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