Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Mycotoxins: toxic fungal metabolites

Mycotoxins are toxic fungal metabolites of enormous chemical diversity that naturally contaminate the human food supply. There are a number of mycotoxins identified and isolated from food. The three major genera of mycotoxins producing fungi are Aspergillus, Fusarium, and Penicillium.

Aflatoxin B1 is the most commonly encountered mycotoxin, and this is identified as one of the most potent naturally occurring carcinogen known to man. There are a number of approaches in the food and feed chains. They involve prevention of fungal growth and therefore mycotoxin formation, as well as strategies to reduce or eliminate mycotoxins from contaminated food commodities.
Prevention by using good agricultural practices during harvesting and storage of food especially grains is the best option.

Mycotoxins detection is carried out by different techniques e.g.:
*physicochemical such as gas chromatography, high performance liquid chromatography, thin layer chromatography
*Immunoassays: enzyme-linked immuno-sorbent assay ELISA, radio-immuno-assay
*Bioassays: anima, cells and tissue cultures, microorganisms
Mycotoxins: toxic fungal metabolites
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