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Special Issue "Mycotoxins in food and feed: Environmental sources and food safety issues"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2019

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Noreddine Benkerroum

Department of Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry MacDonald Campus, McGill University 21111 Lakeshore Ste Anne de Bellevue, Quebec H9X 3V9 Canada
Interests: microbial toxins and food safety

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Mycotoxins are natural toxicants produced by various molds as secondary metabolites whose occurrence has been reported in virtually all food and feed commodities. Currently, there are more than 400 characterised mycotoxins with various toxicological effects spanning from mild gastroenteritis to debilitating cancer diseases. Risk assessment studies have established a definite link between aflatoxins and liver cancer in humans; they were thus classified in group 1 as “carcinogenic to humans” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Other mycotoxins have been classified in group 2B as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” by the same organism. The co-occurrence of various mycotoxins apprears to be common in foods, which adds to the public health concerns they raise, as it may enhance individual toxicities.

Sustained efforts have been made to limit the incidence of mycotoxins in the food supply, and different approaches have been suggested. However, such an incidence is still alarming, especially in developing countries where good manufacturing and post-harvest practices are loosely implemented. The ubiquitous nature of molds and their versatility to grow and possibly produce mycotoxins under extreme conditions, the diversity of sources for food contamination with mycotoxin-producing molds, and the carry-over of some mycotoxins from feed to food of animal origin (in addition to their resistance to decontamination procedures) are some of the challenges that limit the efficacy of any approach aiming to eradicate mycotoxins from foods.

Despite the tremendous work that has been carried out on mycotoxins since the discovery of aflatoxins in 1960, further research is still needed to clarify many aspects related to the toxigenicity of mold strains, their environmental niches, and the routes of food contamination; little is as yet known about newly discovered (emerging) mycotoxins. With the new trend to develop science-based regulatory food safety standards, risk assessment plays a central role in the definition of pertainig regulations. Therefore, studies on this topic are currently encouraged to provide a clear view on the risk extent that mycototoxins pose to humans via food consumption, in order to adequately determine management measures.

This Special Issue is devoted to research articles, reviews, or mini-reviews on the occurrence of mycotoxins in foods, which compromises their overall hygienic quality and makes them unsafe for consumption. Research manuscripts on aflatoxins, their production, geographical distribution, seasonality of occurrence in foodstuffs, risk assessment studies, and related statistical data (e.g., exposure, intake, and levels of contamination) are encouraged.

Dr. Noreddine Benkerroum
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. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 1800 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.


  • Mycotoxins in food and feed
  • Geographical distribution
  • Co-occurrence of mycotoxins in food and feed
  • Emerging mycotoxins
  • Carry-over of mycotoxins from feed to food
  • Environmental factors influencing mycotoxin production
  • The interaction between mycotoxins with regard to their toxicity
  • Risk assessment related to the occurrence of mycotoxins in food
  • The prevention of food contamination with mycotoxins
  • Mycotoxin decontamination/detoxification in food and feed.

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
The Role of miRNAs in Zearalenone-Promotion of TM3 Cell Proliferation
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(9), 1517; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16091517
Received: 20 February 2019 / Revised: 23 April 2019 / Accepted: 25 April 2019 / Published: 29 April 2019
PDF Full-text (6825 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Zearalenone (ZEA) is a non-steroidal estrogen mycotoxin produced by several Gibberella and Fusarium species. Accumulating evidence has indicated that ZEA strongly stimulates cell proliferation. However the detailed molecular and cellular mechanisms of ZEA-mediated induction of cell proliferation have not yet been completely explained. [...] Read more.
Zearalenone (ZEA) is a non-steroidal estrogen mycotoxin produced by several Gibberella and Fusarium species. Accumulating evidence has indicated that ZEA strongly stimulates cell proliferation. However the detailed molecular and cellular mechanisms of ZEA-mediated induction of cell proliferation have not yet been completely explained. The aim of this study was to detect the role of miRNAs in ZEA-mediated induction of cell proliferation. The effects of ZEA on cell proliferation were assessed using a cell counting kit assay and xCELLigence system. Micro-RNA sequencing was performed after treatment of TM3 cells with ZEA (0.01 μmol/L) for different time periods (0, 2, 6 and 18 h). Cell function and pathway analysis of the miRNA target genes were performed by Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA). We found that ZEA promotes TM3 cell proliferation at low concentrations. miRNA sequenceing revealed 66 differentially expressed miRNAs in ZEA-treated cells in comparison to the untreated control (p < 0.05). The miRNA sequencing indicated that compared to control group, there were 66 miRNAs significant change (p < 0.05) in ZEA-treated groups. IPA analysis showed that the predicated miRNAs target gene involved in cell Bio-functions including cell cycle, growth and proliferation, and in signaling pathways including MAPK and RAS-RAF-MEK-ERK pathways. Results from flow cytometry and Western Blot analysis validated the predictions that ZEA can affect cell cycle, and the MAPK signaling pathway. Taking these together, the cell proliferation induced ZEA is regulated by miRNAs. The results shed light on the molecular and cellular mechanisms for the mediation of ZEA to induce proliferation. Full article

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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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