Special Issue "Mycotoxins in the Agri-Food Chain"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 May 2017).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Marcello Iriti
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Milan State University, Milan, Italy
Interests: crop protection; plant diseases; agrochemicals; abiotic stresses; food production; food security; food safety; global climate change; bioactive phytochemicals; agrochemicals; mycotoxins; medicinal plants; ethnobotany
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are organizing a Special Issue on the impact of agrochemicals on public health in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. The portal is a peer-reviewed, online, scientific journal that publishes articles and communications in the interdisciplinary area of environmental health sciences and public health. For detailed information on the journal, we refer you to https://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijerph".

Mycotoxins and mycotoxicoses represent a global threat. Mycotoxins are relatively low molecular weight secondary metabolites produced by different fungi, belonging mainly to the Aspergillus, Penicillium and Fusarium genera, that colonize food and feed crops. Under favourable environmental conditions, when temperature and moisture are predisposing, these fungi proliferate and may produce mycotoxins that commonly enter the food chain through contaminated food and feed.

Mycotoxins exert toxic effects, referred to as mycotoxicoses, on humans and animals; the severity of which depends on the intrinsic toxicity of the mycotoxin, the extent and route of exposure, age and nutritional status and possible synergistic effects of other chemicals to which the individual is exposed. According to the International Agency for Cancer Research (IARC), an estimated 500 million of the poorest people in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and Asia are exposed to mycotoxins at levels that substantially increase mortality and morbidity. The most relevant mycotoxins are aflatoxins, fumonisins, ochratoxins, trichothecenes and zeraralenone. These toxins frequently co-occur in food, thus increasing the risk of mycotoxicoses, which is also exacerbated by the global climate change.

In this very wide context, we invite investigators to submit both original research and review articles that explore all these aspects. Potential topics include, but are not limited to: human toxicology, food contamination, good agricultural practices, post-harvest disease control, global change biology.

The listed keywords suggest just a few of the many possibilities.

Prof. Dr. Marcello Iriti
Guest Editor

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.

Keywords

  • maximum levels of mycotoxins
  • route of exposure
  • food safety
  • public health
  • environmental exposure
  • vulnerable consumers
  • mycotoxin detection
  • analytical methods

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Aflatoxin B1 Contamination in Chicken Livers and Gizzards from Industrial and Small Abattoirs, Measured by ELISA Technique in Maputo, Mozambique
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 951; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14090951 - 23 Aug 2017
Cited by 9
Abstract
Aflatoxins are the most toxic and carcinogenic mycotoxins produced by Aspergillus species. Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) contamination in industrial and local chicken livers and gizzards in Maputo was investigated. One hundred boiler livers and 80 boiler gizzards were collected from industrial and local cutting [...] Read more.
Aflatoxins are the most toxic and carcinogenic mycotoxins produced by Aspergillus species. Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) contamination in industrial and local chicken livers and gizzards in Maputo was investigated. One hundred boiler livers and 80 boiler gizzards were collected from industrial and local cutting poultry production sectors. The samples were analyzed by the ELISA method (MaxSignal®, Bioo Scientific Corporation). AFB1 was found in 39% of liver samples and 13.8% of gizzards, with mean levels of 1.73 µg/kg and 1.07 µg/kg, respectively. The frequency of contamination and AFB1 levels in samples from local sector producers was not significantly higher than those from industrial sector producers (p > 0.05). No correlation was found (p = 0.493; r2 = 0.013) between AFB1 levels in livers and hepatic weights. The AFB1 levels were lower than the allowed limits, suggesting that these products do not pose high risk to consumers. Notwithstanding, there is a need to implement aflatoxin residue monitoring and controls in all chicken meat products; this economic and efficient technique appears to be valuable for improved food safety in Mozambique. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycotoxins in the Agri-Food Chain)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Patulin from Penicillium vulpinum on the Activity of Glutathione-S-Transferase and Selected Antioxidative Enzymes in Maize
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(7), 825; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14070825 - 22 Jul 2017
Cited by 3
Abstract
The mycotoxin patulin (PAT) was purified from Penicillium vulpinum CM1 culture that has been isolated from a soil cultivated with maize. The effect of PAT and of a fungal culture filtrate on the activities of glutathione-S-transferase (GST) and some antioxidant enzymes viz. ascorbate [...] Read more.
The mycotoxin patulin (PAT) was purified from Penicillium vulpinum CM1 culture that has been isolated from a soil cultivated with maize. The effect of PAT and of a fungal culture filtrate on the activities of glutathione-S-transferase (GST) and some antioxidant enzymes viz. ascorbate peroxidase (APX), glutathione reductase (GR), dehydroascorbate reductase (DHAR) and monodehydroascorbate reductase (MDHAR) was investigated in roots and shoots of 8-day-old maize seedlings. PAT and culture filtrate caused significant reduction effects in a dose-related manner on the total GST activity. Upon application of the high PAT concentration (25 μg·mL−1) and of the concentrated fungal filtrate (100%, v/v), the reduction in GST activity of roots was 73.8–76.0% and of shoots was 60–61.7%. Conversely, significant increases in the activities of antioxidant enzymes were induced. Application of 25 μg·PAT·mL−1 increased APX, GR, DHAR, and MDHAR activity of root by 2.40-, 2.00-, 1.24-, and 2.16-fold, respectively. In shoots, the enzymatic activity was increased by 1.57-, 1.45-, 1.45-, and 1.61-fold, respectively. Similar induction values of the enzymatic activity were obtained upon application of the concentrated fungal filtrate. This is the first report describing the response of GST and antioxidant enzyme activities of plant cells to PAT toxicity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycotoxins in the Agri-Food Chain)
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Open AccessArticle
Comparison of Biogenic Amines and Mycotoxins in Alfalfa and Red Clover Fodder Depending on Additives
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(4), 418; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14040418 - 14 Apr 2017
Cited by 3
Abstract
In the production of fermented feed, each crop can be contaminated with a variety of microorganisms that may produce natural pollutants. Biogenic amines, mycotoxins, and undesirable organic acids can decrease health feed safety. The aim of this study was to compare the counts [...] Read more.
In the production of fermented feed, each crop can be contaminated with a variety of microorganisms that may produce natural pollutants. Biogenic amines, mycotoxins, and undesirable organic acids can decrease health feed safety. The aim of this study was to compare the counts of microorganisms, levels of biogenic amines, and the mycotoxins in forage legumes, and also to compare the occurrence of microorganisms and levels of mycotoxins in green fodder and subsequently produced silage and the influence of additives on the content of natural harmful substances in silage. The experimental plot was located in Troubsko and Vatín, in the Czech Republic. Two varieties of Medicago sativa and one variety of Trifolium pratense were compared. Green fodder and subsequently produced silage reaching up to 23% of dry matter were evaluated and prepared using a bio-enzymatic additive and a chemical additive. Green fodder of Medicago sativa was more contaminated by Enterococci than Trifolium pratense fodder. The obvious difference was determined by the quality of silage leachate. The silage prepared from Medicago sativa fodder was more contaminated with butyric acid. Fungi were present in higher counts in the anaerobic environment of green fodder and contaminated it with zearalenone and deoxynivalenol. Lower counts of fungi were found in silage, although the zearalenone content did not change. Lower content of deoxynivalenol was detected in silage, compared with green fodder. Silages treated with a chemical additive were found not to contain butyric acid. Lower ethanol content was determined, and the tendency to reduce the risk of biogenic amines occurrence was evident. The additives proved to have no influence on the content of mycotoxins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycotoxins in the Agri-Food Chain)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Occurrence, Toxicity, and Analysis of Major Mycotoxins in Food
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(6), 632; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14060632 - 13 Jun 2017
Cited by 119
Abstract
Mycotoxins are toxic secondary metabolites produced by certain filamentous fungi (molds). These low molecular weight compounds (usually less than 1000 Daltons) are naturally occurring and practically unavoidable. They can enter our food chain either directly from plant-based food components contaminated with mycotoxins or [...] Read more.
Mycotoxins are toxic secondary metabolites produced by certain filamentous fungi (molds). These low molecular weight compounds (usually less than 1000 Daltons) are naturally occurring and practically unavoidable. They can enter our food chain either directly from plant-based food components contaminated with mycotoxins or by indirect contamination from the growth of toxigenic fungi on food. Mycotoxins can accumulate in maturing corn, cereals, soybeans, sorghum, peanuts, and other food and feed crops in the field and in grain during transportation. Consumption of mycotoxin-contaminated food or feed can cause acute or chronic toxicity in human and animals. In addition to concerns over adverse effects from direct consumption of mycotoxin-contaminated foods and feeds, there is also public health concern over the potential ingestion of animal-derived food products, such as meat, milk, or eggs, containing residues or metabolites of mycotoxins. Members of three fungal genera, Aspergillus, Fusarium, and Penicillium, are the major mycotoxin producers. While over 300 mycotoxins have been identified, six (aflatoxins, trichothecenes, zearalenone, fumonisins, ochratoxins, and patulin) are regularly found in food, posing unpredictable and ongoing food safety problems worldwide. This review summarizes the toxicity of the six mycotoxins, foods commonly contaminated by one or more of them, and the current methods for detection and analysis of these mycotoxins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycotoxins in the Agri-Food Chain)
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Other

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Open AccessConcept Paper
Thermophilic Fungi to Dominate Aflatoxigenic/Mycotoxigenic Fungi on Food under Global Warming
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(2), 199; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14020199 - 17 Feb 2017
Cited by 12
Abstract
Certain filamentous fungi produce mycotoxins that contaminate food. Mycotoxin contamination of crops is highly influenced by environmental conditions and is already affected by global warming, where there is a succession of mycotoxigenic fungi towards those that have higher optimal growth temperatures. Aflatoxigenic fungi [...] Read more.
Certain filamentous fungi produce mycotoxins that contaminate food. Mycotoxin contamination of crops is highly influenced by environmental conditions and is already affected by global warming, where there is a succession of mycotoxigenic fungi towards those that have higher optimal growth temperatures. Aflatoxigenic fungi are at the highest limit of temperature although predicted increases in temperature are beyond that constraint. The present paper discusses what will succeed these fungi and represents the first such consideration. Aflatoxins are the most important mycotoxins and are common in tropical produce, much of which is exported to temperate regions. Hot countries may produce safer food under climate change because aflatoxigenic fungi will be inhibited. The same situation will occur in previously temperate regions where these fungi have recently appeared, although decades later. Existing thermotolerant and thermophilic fungi (TTF) will dominate, in contrast to the conventional mycotoxigenic fungi adapting or mutating, as it will be quicker. TTF produce a range of secondary metabolites, or potential mycotoxins and patulin which may become a new threat. In addition, Aspergillus fumigatus will appear more frequently, a serious human pathogen, because it is (a) thermotolerant and (b) present on crops: hence this is an even greater problem. An incubation temperature of 41 °C needs employing forthwith to detect TTF. Finally, TTF in crops requires study because of the potential for diseases in humans and animals under climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycotoxins in the Agri-Food Chain)
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