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Special Issue "1st International MYCOKEY Conference: Advances on Mycotoxin Reduction in the Food and Feed Chain"

A special issue of Toxins (ISSN 2072-6651). This special issue belongs to the section "Mycotoxins".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Antonio Logrieco

Institute of Sciences of Food Production, ISPA-CNR, Via G. Amendola, 122/O, I-70126 Bari, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: mycology; phytotoxins and mycotoxins, plant pathology, fungal genetic and fermentation technology
Guest Editor
Prof. Sarah De Saeger

Department of Bioanalysis, Laboratory of Food Analysis, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ghent University, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
Website | E-Mail
Interests: mycotoxins; analysis; metabolomics; food safety
Guest Editor
Dr. Marthe De Boevre

Department of Bioanalysis, Laboratory of Food Analysis, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ghent University, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
E-Mail
Interests: Mycotoxins, Human health, Analytical Chemistry, Developing countries, Human intervention

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The 1st International MYCOKEY conference, entitled “Global Mycotoxin Reduction in the Food and Feed Chain” will be held in Ghent, Belgium, 11–14 September, 2017. The EU project MycoKey (http://www.mycokey.eu/) proposes an integrated management of pre- and post-harvest practices, aiming at minimizing the risk of mycotoxin contamination of main crops in the agro-food chain with effective and practical solutions. The project will contribute to the reduction of mycotoxin contamination at a global level, with particular attention on Europe and China, where frequent and severe mycotoxin contaminations occur in crops, and where international trade of commodities and contaminated batches are increasing. Moreover, this conference will be organized in collaboration with another important EU project, dedicated to the mycotoxin problem, MyToolBox (https://www.mytoolbox.eu/).

The goal of this conference is to share knowledge at a global level, as well as to provide practical solutions to operators, directly involved in specific food and feed chains. This will be done through the development of tools for the prevention, monitoring, and reduction of mycotoxins in the field or during industrial processing, in a dynamic system able to consider variable data and information. Through this conference, we will present scientific and technological advances showing the most recent research results and integrated approaches to boost innovation in the agro-food sector.

The Special Issue is open for all advanced contributions (research papers, as well as review papers) related to the following topics in mycotoxin research:

Mycotoxins and Fungi/Plant Diseases (pre-harvest)

  • Biodiversity and toxigenic fungi monitoring
  • Biocontrol
  • Breeding for resistance
  • Fungicide applications
  • Field management (including modelling)

Mycotoxins and Food/Feed Contamination (post-harvest and food/feed processing)

  • Occurrence
  • Mycotoxin monitoring and analysis
  • Post-harvest intervention strategies
  • Detoxification strategies
  • Safe use of mycotoxin contaminated biomasses

Mycotoxins and Human/Animal Health

  • Animal health and toxicology
  • Human health and toxicology
  • Toxicokinetics
  • In vitro and in vivo mycotoxin detoxifying agents

Moreover, research and review papers dedicated to topics such as climate change, developing countries, and ICT solutions related to the mycotoxin issue, are very much appreciated. Particular attention will be dedicated to contributions addressing effective prevention and reduction of the risk of mycotoxin contamination to give practical answers to requests coming from markets and producers, in order to support them in the different phases of the food production chains, starting from harvest to storage and transformation.

For additional links to the conference that may be useful, please visit:
http://mytox.be/conferences/.

Prof. Dr. Antonio F. Logrieco
Prof. Dr. Sarah De Saeger
Dr. Marthe De Boevre
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Toxins is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (16 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Host and Cropping System Shape the Fusarium Population: 3ADON-Producers Are Ubiquitous in Wheat Whereas NIV-Producers Are More Prevalent in Rice
Toxins 2018, 10(3), 115; doi:10.3390/toxins10030115
Received: 5 February 2018 / Revised: 24 February 2018 / Accepted: 6 March 2018 / Published: 8 March 2018
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Abstract
In recent years, Fusarium head blight (FHB) outbreaks have occurred much more frequently in China. The reduction of burning of the preceding crop residues is suggested to contribute to more severe epidemics as it may increase the initial inoculum. In this study, a
[...] Read more.
In recent years, Fusarium head blight (FHB) outbreaks have occurred much more frequently in China. The reduction of burning of the preceding crop residues is suggested to contribute to more severe epidemics as it may increase the initial inoculum. In this study, a large number of Fusarium isolates was collected from blighted wheat spikes as well as from rice stubble with perithecia originating from nine sampling sites in five provinces in Southern China. Fusarium asiaticum dominated both wheat and rice populations, although rice populations showed a higher species diversity. Chemotype analysis showed that rice is the preferred niche for NIV mycotoxin producers that were shown to be less virulent on wheat. In contrast, 3ADON producers are more prevalent on wheat and in wheat producing areas. The 3ADON producers were shown to be more virulent on wheat, revealing the selection pressure of wheat on 3ADON producers. For the first time, members of the Incarnatum-clade of Fusarium Incarnatum-Equiseti Species Complex (FIESC) were found to reproduce sexually on rice stubble. The pathogenicity of FIESC isolates on wheat proved very low and this may cause the apparent absence of this species in the main wheat producing provinces. This is the first report of the Fusarium population structure including rice stubble as well as a direct comparison with the population on wheat heads in the same fields. Our results confirm that the perithecia on rice stubble are the primary inoculum of FHB on wheat and that cropping systems affect the local Fusarium population. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Biocontrol of Fusarium graminearum sensu stricto, Reduction of Deoxynivalenol Accumulation and Phytohormone Induction by Two Selected Antagonists
Toxins 2018, 10(2), 88; doi:10.3390/toxins10020088
Received: 10 January 2018 / Revised: 6 February 2018 / Accepted: 14 February 2018 / Published: 20 February 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1092 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Fusarium head blight (FHB) is a devastating disease that causes extensive yield and quality losses to wheat and other small cereal grains worldwide. Species within the Fusarium graminearum complex are the main pathogens associated with the disease, F. graminearum sensu stricto being the
[...] Read more.
Fusarium head blight (FHB) is a devastating disease that causes extensive yield and quality losses to wheat and other small cereal grains worldwide. Species within the Fusarium graminearum complex are the main pathogens associated with the disease, F. graminearum sensu stricto being the main pathogen in Argentina. Biocontrol can be used as part of an integrated pest management strategy. Phytohormones play a key role in the plant defense system and their production can be induced by antagonistic microorganisms. The aims of this study were to evaluate the effect of the inoculation of Bacillus velezensis RC 218, F. graminearum and their co-inoculation on the production of salicylic acid (SA) and jasmonic acid (JA) in wheat spikes at different periods of time under greenhouse conditions, and to evaluate the effect of B. velezensis RC 218 and Streptomyces albidoflavus RC 87B on FHB disease incidence, severity and deoxynivalenol accumulation on Triticum turgidum L. var. durum under field conditions. Under greenhouse conditions the production of JA was induced after F. graminearum inoculation at 48 and 72 h, but JA levels were reduced in the co-inoculated treatments. No differences in JA or SA levels were observed between the B. velezensis treatment and the water control. In the spikes inoculated with F. graminearum, SA production was induced early (12 h), as it was shown for initial FHB basal resistance, while JA was induced at a later stage (48 h), revealing different defense strategies at different stages of infection by the hemibiotrophic pathogen F. graminearum. Both B. velezensis RC 218 and S. albidoflavus RC 87B effectively reduced FHB incidence (up to 30%), severity (up to 25%) and deoxynivalenol accumulation (up to 51%) on durum wheat under field conditions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Fusarium graminearum in Stored Wheat: Use of CO2 Production to Quantify Dry Matter Losses and Relate This to Relative Risks of Zearalenone Contamination under Interacting Environmental Conditions
Toxins 2018, 10(2), 86; doi:10.3390/toxins10020086
Received: 12 January 2018 / Revised: 8 February 2018 / Accepted: 14 February 2018 / Published: 17 February 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2182 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Zearalenone (ZEN) contamination from Fusarium graminearum colonization is particularly important in food and feed wheat, especially during post-harvest storage with legislative limits for both food and feed grain. Indicators of the relative risk from exceeding these limits would be useful. We examined the
[...] Read more.
Zearalenone (ZEN) contamination from Fusarium graminearum colonization is particularly important in food and feed wheat, especially during post-harvest storage with legislative limits for both food and feed grain. Indicators of the relative risk from exceeding these limits would be useful. We examined the effect of different water activities (aw; 0.95–0.90) and temperature (10–25 °C) in naturally contaminated and irradiated wheat grain, both inoculated with F. graminearum and stored for 15 days on (a) respiration rate; (b) dry matter losses (DML); (c) ZEN production and (d) relationship between DML and ZEN contamination relative to the EU legislative limits. Gas Chromatography was used to measure the temporal respiration rates and the total accumulated CO2 production. There was an increase in temporal CO2 production rates in wetter and warmer conditions in all treatments, with the highest respiration in the 25 °C × 0.95 aw treatments + F. graminearum inoculation. This was reflected in the total accumulated CO2 in the treatments. The maximum DMLs were in the 0.95 aw/20–25 °C treatments and at 10 °C/0.95 aw. The DMLs were modelled to produce contour maps of the environmental conditions resulting in maximum/minimum losses. Contamination with ZEN/ZEN-related compounds were quantified. Maximum production was at 25 °C/0.95–0.93 aw and 20 °C/0.95 aw. ZEN contamination levels plotted against DMLs for all the treatments showed that at ca. <1.0% DML, there was a low risk of ZEN contamination exceeding EU legislative limits, while at >1.0% DML, the risk was high. This type of data is important in building a database for the development of a post-harvest decision support system for relative risks of different mycotoxins. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Multiple Mycotoxins in Rice: Occurrence and Health Risk Assessment in Children and Adults of Punjab, Pakistan
Toxins 2018, 10(2), 77; doi:10.3390/toxins10020077
Received: 12 December 2017 / Revised: 4 February 2018 / Accepted: 7 February 2018 / Published: 10 February 2018
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Abstract
Mycotoxin contamination in rice can create a health risk for the consumers. In this study, the measurement of 23 mycotoxins in rice samples (n = 180) was performed using a validated LC–MS/MS method. A food frequency questionnaire was used to get rice
[...] Read more.
Mycotoxin contamination in rice can create a health risk for the consumers. In this study, the measurement of 23 mycotoxins in rice samples (n = 180) was performed using a validated LC–MS/MS method. A food frequency questionnaire was used to get rice consumption data for the assessment of mycotoxin dietary exposure, before calculating the health risk in adults and children of north and south regions of the Pakistani Punjab province. The prevalence of aflatoxin B1 (56%), aflatoxin B2 (48%), nivalenol (28%), diacetoxyscirpenol (23%), fumonisin B1 (42%), zearalenone (15%), HT-2 toxin (10%), deoxynivalenol (8%), and ochratoxin A (6%) was estimated in samples with a mean concentration range between 0.61 and 22.98 µg/kg. Aflatoxin degradation by traditional Pakistani cooking recipes was evaluated and observed to be 41–63%. The dietary exposure to aflatoxins exceeded the tolerable daily intake at all levels, and ochratoxin A and zearalenone posed health risk at high contamination and high consumption levels. The margin of aflatoxin B1 exposure ranged between 10 and 69 in adults and 10 and 62 in children. The mean cancer risk by aflatoxin B1 exposure was 0.070 (adults) and 0.071 (children) cases/year/100,000 people in South Punjab population, and 0.122 (adults) and 0.127 (children) cases/year/100,000 people in North Punjab population. This study will provide new insights for the planning and management of mycotoxins in Pakistan. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Control of Fusarium verticillioides (Sacc.) Nirenberg and Fumonisins by Using a Combination of Crop Protection Products and Fertilization
Toxins 2018, 10(2), 67; doi:10.3390/toxins10020067
Received: 3 December 2017 / Revised: 10 January 2018 / Accepted: 1 February 2018 / Published: 2 February 2018
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Abstract
Fusarium verticillioides is the most common fungal pathogen associated with maize ear rot in Tanzania. In a two-year trial, we investigated the efficacy of crop protection (insecticide and/or fungicide) and fertilizer (nitrogen and/or phosphorus) treatments in reducing the occurrence of F. verticillioides and
[...] Read more.
Fusarium verticillioides is the most common fungal pathogen associated with maize ear rot in Tanzania. In a two-year trial, we investigated the efficacy of crop protection (insecticide and/or fungicide) and fertilizer (nitrogen and/or phosphorus) treatments in reducing the occurrence of F. verticillioides and its mycotoxins in maize grown in Tanzania. Seasonal differences were seen to have a substantial influence on the incidence and severity of insect infestation, Fusarium ear and kernel rot, biomass of F. verticillioides and contamination with fumonisins. With regard to the application of fertilizers, it was concluded that the impact on maize stalk borer injury, Fusarium symptoms and fumonisin levels was not significant, whereas crop protection significantly reduced maize damage. The application of an insecticide was most effective in reducing insect injury and as a result of the reduced insect injury the insecticide treatment also resulted in a significant decrease in Fusarium symptoms. In 2014, fumonisin levels were also significantly lower in maize treated with an insecticide. Additionally, significant positive correlations between insect damage and Fusarium symptoms were observed. In conclusion, this study clearly shows that application of an insecticide alone or in combination with a fungicide at anthesis significantly reduces insect damage and consequently reduces F. verticillioides infection and associated fumonisin contamination. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Development and Validation of a UPLC-MS/MS and UPLC-HR-MS Method for the Determination of Fumonisin B1 and Its Hydrolysed Metabolites and Fumonisin B2 in Broiler Chicken Plasma
Toxins 2018, 10(2), 62; doi:10.3390/toxins10020062
Received: 14 December 2017 / Revised: 26 January 2018 / Accepted: 29 January 2018 / Published: 31 January 2018
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Abstract
A sensitive and specific method for the quantitative determination of Fumonisin B1 (FB1), its partially hydrolysed metabolites pHFB1a+b and hydrolysed metabolite HFB1, and Fumonisin B2 (FB2) in broiler chicken plasma using ultra-performance liquid chromatography combined with tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS) was developed. The
[...] Read more.
A sensitive and specific method for the quantitative determination of Fumonisin B1 (FB1), its partially hydrolysed metabolites pHFB1a+b and hydrolysed metabolite HFB1, and Fumonisin B2 (FB2) in broiler chicken plasma using ultra-performance liquid chromatography combined with tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS) was developed. The sample preparation was rapid, straightforward and consisted of a deproteinization and phospholipid removal step using an Oasis® OstroTM 96-well plate. Chromatography was performed on an Acquity HSS-T3 column, using 0.3% formic acid and 10 mM ammonium formate in water, and acetonitrile as mobile phases. The MS/MS instrument was operated in the positive electrospray ionization mode and the two multiple reaction monitoring transitions were monitored for each component for quantification and identification, respectively. The method was validated in-house: matrix-matched calibration graphs were prepared and good linearity (r ≥ 0.99) was achieved over the concentration ranges tested (1–500 ng/mL for FB1 and FB2; 0.86–860 ng/mL for pHFB1a; 0.72–1430 ng/mL for pHFB1b and 2.5–2500 ng/mL for HFB1). Limits of quantification (LOQ) and detection (LOD) in plasma ranged between 0.72 to 2.5 ng/mL and 0.03 to 0.17 ng/mL, respectively. The results for the within-day and between-day precision and accuracy fell within the specified ranges. Moreover, the method was transferred to an UPLC high-resolution mass spectrometry (HR-MS) instrument in order to determine potential metabolites of HFB1, such as N-acyl-HFB1s and phase II metabolites. The method has been successfully applied to investigate the toxicokinetics and biotransformation of HFB1 in broiler chickens. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Interacting Environmental Stress Factors Affects Targeted Metabolomic Profiles in Stored Natural Wheat and That Inoculated with F. graminearum
Toxins 2018, 10(2), 56; doi:10.3390/toxins10020056
Received: 20 December 2017 / Revised: 16 January 2018 / Accepted: 22 January 2018 / Published: 29 January 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1827 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Changes in environmental stress impact on secondary metabolite (SM) production profiles. Few studies have examined targeted SM production patterns in relation to interacting environmental conditions in stored cereals. The objectives were to examine the effect of water activity (aw; 0.95–0.90) x
[...] Read more.
Changes in environmental stress impact on secondary metabolite (SM) production profiles. Few studies have examined targeted SM production patterns in relation to interacting environmental conditions in stored cereals. The objectives were to examine the effect of water activity (aw; 0.95–0.90) x temperature (10–25 °C) on SM production on naturally contaminated stored wheat and that inoculated with Fusarium graminearum. Samples were analysed using Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) on (a) total number of known SMs, (b) their concentrations and (c) changes under environmental stress. 24 Fusarium metabolites were quantified. Interestingly, statistical differences (ChisSq., p < 0.001) were observed in the number of SMs produced under different sets of interacting environmental conditions. The dominant metabolites in natural stored grain were deoxynivalenol (DON) and nivalenol (NIV) followed by a range of enniatins (A, A1, B, B1), apicidin and DON-3-glucoside at 10 °C. Increasing temperature promoted the biosynthesis of other SMs such as aurofusarin, moniliformin, zearalenone (ZEN) and their derivatives. Natural wheat + F. graminearum inoculation resulted in a significant increase in the number of metabolites produced (ChisSq., p < 0.001). For ZEN and its derivatives, more was produced under cooler storage conditions. Fusarin C was enhanced in contrast to that for the enniatin group. The relative ratios of certain groups of targeted SM changed with environmental stress. Both temperature and aw affected the amounts of metabolites present, especially of DON and ZEN. This study suggests that the dominant SMs produced in stored temperate cereals are the mycotoxins for which legislation exists. However, there are changes in the ratios of key metabolites which could influence the relative contamination with individual compounds. Thus, in the future, under more extreme environmental stresses, different dominant SMs may be formed which could make present legislation out of step with the future contamination which might occur. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Data Analyses and Modelling for Risk Based Monitoring of Mycotoxins in Animal Feed
Toxins 2018, 10(2), 54; doi:10.3390/toxins10020054
Received: 20 December 2017 / Revised: 17 January 2018 / Accepted: 22 January 2018 / Published: 26 January 2018
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Abstract
Following legislation, European Member States should have multi-annual control programs for contaminants, such as for mycotoxins, in feed and food. These programs need to be risk based implying the checks are regular and proportional to the estimated risk for animal and human health.
[...] Read more.
Following legislation, European Member States should have multi-annual control programs for contaminants, such as for mycotoxins, in feed and food. These programs need to be risk based implying the checks are regular and proportional to the estimated risk for animal and human health. This study aimed to prioritize feed products in the Netherlands for deoxynivalenol and aflatoxin B1 monitoring. Historical mycotoxin monitoring results from the period 2007–2016 were combined with data from other sources. Based on occurrence, groundnuts had high priority for aflatoxin B1 monitoring; some feed materials (maize and maize products and several oil seed products) and complete/complementary feed excluding dairy cattle and young animals had medium priority; and all other animal feeds and feed materials had low priority. For deoxynivalenol, maize by-products had a high priority, complete and complementary feed for pigs had a medium priority and all other feed and feed materials a low priority. Also including health consequence estimations showed that feed materials that ranked highest for aflatoxin B1 included sunflower seed and palmkernel expeller/extracts and maize. For deoxynivalenol, maize products were ranked highest, followed by various small grain cereals (products); all other feed materials were of lower concern. Results of this study have proven to be useful in setting up the annual risk based control program for mycotoxins in animal feed and feed materials. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Chronic Dietary Intake of Enniatin B in Broiler Chickens Has Low Impact on Intestinal Morphometry and Hepatic Histology, and Shows Limited Transfer to Liver Tissue
Toxins 2018, 10(1), 45; doi:10.3390/toxins10010045
Received: 14 December 2017 / Revised: 9 January 2018 / Accepted: 15 January 2018 / Published: 18 January 2018
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Abstract
The Fusarium mycotoxin enniatin B (ENN B) is a so-called emerging mycotoxin frequently contaminating poultry feed. To investigate the impact of chronic ENN B exposure on animal health, broiler chickens were fed either a diet naturally contaminated with ENN B (2352 µg/kg) or
[...] Read more.
The Fusarium mycotoxin enniatin B (ENN B) is a so-called emerging mycotoxin frequently contaminating poultry feed. To investigate the impact of chronic ENN B exposure on animal health, broiler chickens were fed either a diet naturally contaminated with ENN B (2352 µg/kg) or a control diet (135 µg/kg) for 2, 7, 14, or 21 days. ENN B concentrations were determined in plasma and liver using a validated ultra-high performance liquid chromatography—tandem mass spectrometry UHPLC-MS/MS method. Liver was evaluated histologically, and the villus length and crypt depth of the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum were measured. Histopathology of the livers did not reveal major abnormalities. Feeding an ENN B-contaminated diet could possibly inhibit the proliferation of enterocytes in the duodenal crypts, but did not affect villus length, crypt depth, or villus length-crypt depth ratio of the jejunum and ileum. ENN B levels in plasma and liver were significantly higher in the ENN B-fed group and ranged between <25–264 pg/mL and <0.05–0.85 ng/g, respectively. ENN B carry-over rates from feed to liver tissue were 0.005–0.014% and 0.034–0.109% in the ENN B and control group, respectively. Carry-over rates were low and indicated a limited contribution of poultry tissue-derived products to the total dietary ENN B intake for humans. The above results support the opinion of the European Food Safety Authority stating that adverse health effects from ENN B in broiler chickens are unlikely. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle Awareness and Prevalence of Mycotoxin Contamination in Selected Nigerian Fermented Foods
Toxins 2017, 9(11), 363; doi:10.3390/toxins9110363
Received: 20 October 2017 / Revised: 3 November 2017 / Accepted: 4 November 2017 / Published: 8 November 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (614 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Fermented food samples (n = 191) including maize gruel (ogi), sorghum gruel (ogi-baba), melon seed (ogiri), locust bean (iru) and African oil bean seed (ugba) from Southwest Nigeria were quantified for 23
[...] Read more.
Fermented food samples (n = 191) including maize gruel (ogi), sorghum gruel (ogi-baba), melon seed (ogiri), locust bean (iru) and African oil bean seed (ugba) from Southwest Nigeria were quantified for 23 mycotoxins, including aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), fumonisin B1 (FB1), and sterigmatocystin (STE) using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. The practices, perceived understanding and health risks related to fungal and mycotoxin contamination amongst fermented food sellers was also established. Data obtained revealed that 82% of the samples had mycotoxins occurring singly or in combination. FB1 was present in 83% of ogi-baba samples, whereas 20% of ugba samples contained AFB1 (range: 3 to 36 µg/kg) and STE was present in 29% of the ogi samples. In terms of multi-mycotoxin contamination, FB1 + FB2 + FB3 + STE + AFB1 + alternariol + HT-2 co-occurred within one sample. The awareness study revealed that 98% of respondents were unaware of mycotoxin contamination, and their education level slightly correlated with their level of awareness (p < 0.01, r = 0.308). The extent to which the analyzed mycotoxins contaminated these food commodities, coupled with the poor perception of the population under study on fungi and mycotoxins, justifies the need to enact fungal and mycotoxin mitigation strategies along the food chain. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Ability of Soil Isolated Actinobacterial Strains to Prevent, Bind and Biodegrade Ochratoxin A
Toxins 2017, 9(7), 222; doi:10.3390/toxins9070222
Received: 19 May 2017 / Revised: 24 June 2017 / Accepted: 9 July 2017 / Published: 14 July 2017
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Abstract
Ochratoxin A (OTA) is one of the most important mycotoxins, and contaminates several agricultural products, particularly cereals, grapes, maize, barley, spices and coffee. The aim of this project was to reduce the levels of OTA by supplementing the artificially contaminated solutions with seven
[...] Read more.
Ochratoxin A (OTA) is one of the most important mycotoxins, and contaminates several agricultural products, particularly cereals, grapes, maize, barley, spices and coffee. The aim of this project was to reduce the levels of OTA by supplementing the artificially contaminated solutions with seven strains of actinobacteria (AT10, AT8, SN7, MS1, ML5, G10 and PT1) in order to evaluate their capacity for binding and metabolizing the OTA, as well as their ability to reduce the expression of the genes responsible for its production in A. carbonarius. In the first part of this study, we evaluated the capacity of Streptomyces strains for binding OTA on their surfaces after 0, 30 and 60 min of incubation with PBS solution supplemented with OTA. In the second part, we tested the ability of these strains, as well as their supernatants, to detoxify the ISP2 medium. Finally, we studied the effect of the Streptomyces cocultured with Aspergillus carbonarius on the expression of OTA biosynthesis genes. Results showed that, among the strains co-cultured with A. carbonarius, the strain G10 was able to reduce the expression of acpks, acOTApks, acOTAnrps and vea genes, thus reducing OTA from solid PDA medium to 13.50% of reduction. This strain was remarkably able to detoxify and bind OTA up to 47.07%. Strain AT8 was stronger in detoxifying OTA (52.61%), but had no significant effect on the studied gene expression. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview A Review of Current Methods for Analysis of Mycotoxins in Herbal Medicines
Toxins 2018, 10(2), 65; doi:10.3390/toxins10020065
Received: 13 December 2017 / Revised: 30 January 2018 / Accepted: 30 January 2018 / Published: 2 February 2018
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Abstract
The presence of mycotoxins in herbal medicines is an established problem throughout the entire world. The sensitive and accurate analysis of mycotoxin in complicated matrices (e.g., herbs) typically involves challenging sample pretreatment procedures and an efficient detection instrument. However, although numerous reviews have
[...] Read more.
The presence of mycotoxins in herbal medicines is an established problem throughout the entire world. The sensitive and accurate analysis of mycotoxin in complicated matrices (e.g., herbs) typically involves challenging sample pretreatment procedures and an efficient detection instrument. However, although numerous reviews have been published regarding the occurrence of mycotoxins in herbal medicines, few of them provided a detailed summary of related analytical methods for mycotoxin determination. This review focuses on analytical techniques including sampling, extraction, cleanup, and detection for mycotoxin determination in herbal medicines established within the past ten years. Dedicated sections of this article address the significant developments in sample preparation, and highlight the importance of this procedure in the analytical technology. This review also summarizes conventional chromatographic techniques for mycotoxin qualification or quantitation, as well as recent studies regarding the development and application of screening assays such as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, lateral flow immunoassays, aptamer-based lateral flow assays, and cytometric bead arrays. The present work provides a good insight regarding the advanced research that has been done and closes with an indication of future demand for the emerging technologies. Full article
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Other

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Open AccessFeature PaperOpinion The Mycotox Charter: Increasing Awareness of, and Concerted Action for, Minimizing Mycotoxin Exposure Worldwide
Toxins 2018, 10(4), 149; doi:10.3390/toxins10040149
Received: 9 March 2018 / Revised: 27 March 2018 / Accepted: 29 March 2018 / Published: 4 April 2018
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Abstract
Mycotoxins are major food contaminants affecting global food security, especially in low and middle-income countries. The European Union (EU) funded project, MycoKey, focuses on “Integrated and innovative key actions for mycotoxin management in the food and feed chains” and the right to safe
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Mycotoxins are major food contaminants affecting global food security, especially in low and middle-income countries. The European Union (EU) funded project, MycoKey, focuses on “Integrated and innovative key actions for mycotoxin management in the food and feed chains” and the right to safe food through mycotoxin management strategies and regulation, which are fundamental to minimizing the unequal access to safe and sufficient food worldwide. As part of the MycoKey project, a Mycotoxin Charter (charter.mycokey.eu) was launched to share the need for global harmonization of mycotoxin legislation and policies and to minimize human and animal exposure worldwide, with particular attention to less developed countries that lack effective legislation. This document is in response to a demand that has built through previous European Framework Projects—MycoGlobe and MycoRed—in the previous decade to control and reduce mycotoxin contamination worldwide. All suppliers, participants and beneficiaries of the food supply chain, for example, farmers, consumers, stakeholders, researchers, members of civil society and government and so forth, are invited to sign this charter and to support this initiative. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperPerspective Scaling-Up the Impact of Aflatoxin Research in Africa. The Role of Social Sciences
Toxins 2018, 10(4), 136; doi:10.3390/toxins10040136
Received: 6 February 2018 / Revised: 1 March 2018 / Accepted: 13 March 2018 / Published: 23 March 2018
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Abstract
At the interface between agriculture and nutrition, the aflatoxin contamination of food and feed touches on agriculture, health, and trade. For more than three decades now, the problem of aflatoxin has been researched in Africa. The interest of development cooperation for aflatoxin and
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At the interface between agriculture and nutrition, the aflatoxin contamination of food and feed touches on agriculture, health, and trade. For more than three decades now, the problem of aflatoxin has been researched in Africa. The interest of development cooperation for aflatoxin and the support to aflatoxin mitigation projects has its ups and downs. The academic world and the development world still seem to operate in different spheres and a collaboration is still challenging due to the complexity of the contamination sources at pre-harvest and post-harvest levels. There is a growing call by research funders and development actors for the impact of solutions at a scale. The solutions to mitigate aflatoxin contamination require new ways of working together. A more prominent role is to be played by social scientists. The role of social scientists in scaling-up the impact of aflatoxin research in Africa and the proposed mitigation solutions is to ensure that awareness, advantage, affordability, and access are systematically assessed. Aflatoxin-reduced staple foods and feed would be an agricultural result with a considerable health and food safety impact. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperOpinion MycoKey Round Table Discussions of Future Directions in Research on Chemical Detection Methods, Genetics and Biodiversity of Mycotoxins
Toxins 2018, 10(3), 109; doi:10.3390/toxins10030109
Received: 23 January 2018 / Revised: 26 February 2018 / Accepted: 28 February 2018 / Published: 1 March 2018
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Abstract
MycoKey, an EU-funded Horizon 2020 project, includes a series of “Roundtable Discussions” to gather information on trending research areas in the field of mycotoxicology. This paper includes summaries of the Roundtable Discussions on Chemical Detection and Monitoring of mycotoxins and on the role
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MycoKey, an EU-funded Horizon 2020 project, includes a series of “Roundtable Discussions” to gather information on trending research areas in the field of mycotoxicology. This paper includes summaries of the Roundtable Discussions on Chemical Detection and Monitoring of mycotoxins and on the role of genetics and biodiversity in mycotoxin production. Discussions were managed by using the nominal group discussion technique, which generates numerous ideas and provides a ranking for those identified as the most important. Four questions were posed for each research area, as well as two questions that were common to both discussions. Test kits, usually antibody based, were one major focus of the discussions at the Chemical Detection and Monitoring roundtable because of their many favorable features, e.g., cost, speed and ease of use. The second area of focus for this roundtable was multi-mycotoxin detection protocols and the challenges still to be met to enable these protocols to become methods of choice for regulated mycotoxins. For the genetic and biodiversity group, both the depth and the breadth of trending research areas were notable. For some areas, e.g., microbiome studies, the suggested research questions were primarily of a descriptive nature. In other areas, multiple experimental approaches, e.g., transcriptomics, proteomics, RNAi and gene deletions, are needed to understand the regulation of toxin production and mechanisms underlying successful biological controls. Answers to the research questions will provide starting points for developing acceptable prevention and remediation processes. Forging a partnership between scientists and appropriately-placed communications experts was recognized by both groups as an essential step to communicating risks, while retaining overall confidence in the safety of the food supply and the integrity of the food production chain. Full article
Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceMeeting Report Report from the 1st MYCOKEY International Conference Global Mycotoxin Reduction in the Food and Feed Chain Held in Ghent, Belgium, 11–14 September 2017
Toxins 2017, 9(9), 276; doi:10.3390/toxins9090276
Received: 31 August 2017 / Revised: 1 September 2017 / Accepted: 1 September 2017 / Published: 8 September 2017
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Abstract
This conference is organized within the framework of the H2020—Research and Innovation Action—Societal Challenge 2—“Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine, maritime and inland water research and the bioeconomy challenge”—GA 678781 MycoKey “Integrated and innovative key actions for mycotoxin management in the food
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This conference is organized within the framework of the H2020—Research and Innovation Action—Societal Challenge 2—“Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine, maritime and inland water research and the bioeconomy challenge”—GA 678781 MycoKey “Integrated and innovative key actions for mycotoxin management in the food and feed chain” [...]
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