Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Southern Insect Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #240640

Title: Mycotoxin contamination of commercially important agricultural commodities

item REDDY, KASA R. - University Of Torino
item Abbas, Hamed
item Abel, Craig
item SHIER, W. THOMAS - University Of Minnesota
item OLIVERIRA, CARLOS AUGUSTO - Universidad De Sao Paulo
item RAGHAVENDER, CHINNAM - Osmania University

Submitted to: Journal of Toxicology Toxins Reviews
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/4/2009
Publication Date: 8/1/2009
Citation: Reddy, K.N., Abbas, H.K., Abel, C.A., Shier, W., Oliverira, C.F., Raghavender, C.R. 2009. Mycotoxin contamination of commercially important agricultural commodities. Journal of Toxicology Toxins Reviews. 28(2-3):154-168.

Interpretive Summary: Mycotoxins are toxic secondary metabolites produced by species of filamentous fungi growing on seeds before harvest or in storage. Mycotoxin contamination of agricultural commodities is a serious concern for human and animal health. The mycotoxins subject to government regulation are aflatoxins, fumonisins, ochratoxins, cyclopiazonic acid, deoxynivalenol/nivalenol, patulin and zearalenone, produced by species of Aspergillus, Fusarium and Penicillium, with aflatoxins and fumonisins posing the greatest threat to human health worldwide. The frequency, magnitude and causes of mycotoxin contamination of important agricultural commodities are reviewed here, as a first step in prioritizing mycotoxin problems for future research.

Technical Abstract: Fungal toxins, called aflatoxins and other mold toxins, are a serious problem in US agricultural commodities. Due to aflatoxins resilience to industrial processes contaminated crops (corn, cotton, peanuts, and tree nuts) cannot be used. The loss of these commodities results in serious economic impacts. The paper gives a quick introduction into the organisms that produce aflatoxins and other mold toxins, the effects these toxins have on human and animal health, the efforts underway to prevent contamination, and how this contamination should be of a concern to the food process industry. This paper will be beneficial as a basic resource to many agencies such as the ARS, FDA, State Chemical Laboratories, growers, producers, industry, and universities.