Mycotoxin occurrence

Mycotoxins are toxic, low-molecular-weight, secondary metabolites produced by molds. The most important fungal genera producing mycotoxins that are found in food and feed products are Aspergillus, Fusarium, Alternaria and Penicillium. Mycotoxins are stated to be a major public health concern because they are the most hazardous of all food and feed contaminants in terms of chronic toxicity, and main clinical outcomes include carcinogenicity, genotoxicity, nephrotoxicity, hepatotoxicity, estrogenicity, immunosuppression and dermal infestations. Both food and feed crops can, therefore, be affected through an amalgam of mycotoxins. Multiple occurrence of mycotoxins produced by one fungal species is plausible, and the plant or fungus is also capable of converting these xenobiotics into modified (masked) mycotoxins. Generating data on these mycotoxins is crucial. The Laboratory of Food Analysis focuses on the development and validation of multi-mycotoxin LC-MS/MS, and to apply these methods in large surveys covering the multi-mycotoxins from Asia, Europe to Africa.

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