Friday, August 26, 2011


Citrinin is a toxin fungal metabolite ‘mycotoxin’ produced by some moulds of the genera Penicillium, Aspergillus and Monascus growing on certain food commodities, especially cereals and fruit.

Citrinin was isolated as a pure compound from a culture of Penicillium citrinium in 1931 by Hetherington and Raistrick. Many species of Penicillium have been reported to produce citrinin, including P. verrucosum.

Citrinin exhibits a number of toxic effects in animals and its presence in food is undesirable. Citrinin has mainly been found in rice and other cereals.

Citrinin has been found on Indian groundnuts infected with A. flavus, P. citrinum and A. terreus.
Citrinin often occurs in conjunction with ochratoxin A, another mycotoxin capable of altering renal function.

Citrinin is a relatively small molecule (C13H14O5) and is slightly soluble in water. Under long wave UV light, it fluoresces lemon yellow. It is known carcinogen.

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