Mycotoxin contamination of agricultural products in the southern United States and approaches to reducing it from pre-harvest to final food products

Hamed K. Abbas, W. T. Shier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Mycotoxins represent >300 fungal natural products, including aflatoxins, trichothecenes, zearalenones, ochratoxins, patulin and fumonisins. Mycotoxins contaminate cereal grains, causing acute and chronic illnesses in livestock and humans, including teratogenesis, carcinogenesis, endocrine disruption and immunosuppression. Mycotoxin-producing fungi infect plants from soil reservoirs or as endophytes, which infect seeds and plants they growing from them. Mycotoxins can be produced pre-harvest or post-harvest, but near-ideal crop handling and storage conditions in developed countries allow regulatory agencies to assume zero post-harvest production. Cereal grains range in mycotoxin contamination susceptibility from corn, the most susceptible, to rice, the least susceptible. In this paper we provide an overview of mycotoxin contamination problems in the southern United States, and give examples of efforts to reduce mycotoxin contamination pre-harvest, post-harvest and during food processing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-58
Number of pages22
JournalACS Symposium Series
Volume1031
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 20 2009

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