Special Issue "Mycotoxin Contamination and Food Safety"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2021) | Viewed by 10192

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Angelina Lopes Simoes Pena
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Guest Editor
REQUIMTE-LAQV, Laboratório de Bromatologia e Farmacognosia, Faculdade de Farmácia da Universidade de Coimbra, Polo III, Azinhaga de Stª Comba, 3000-548 Coimbra, Portugal
Interests: health surveillance monitoring; safety assessment of food additives; foodstuff contamination with veterinary drugs and mycotoxins; population exposure estimation through human biomonitoring studies; pharmaceutical monitoring in environmental samples; environmental risk assessment evaluation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Carlos Augusto Fernandes De Oliveira
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Guest Editor
Department of Food Engeneering, Faculdade de Zootecnia e Engenharia de Alimentos, Universidade de São Paulo. Av. Duque de Caxias Norte, 225, CEP 13635-900, Pirassununga, SP, Brazil
Interests: mycotoxins; analysis; occurrence; exposure assessment; toxic effects
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Sofia Cancela Duarte
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. REQUIMTE-LAQV, Laboratório de Bromatologia e Farmacognosia, Faculdade de Farmácia da Universidade de Coimbra, Polo III, Azinhaga de Stª Comba, 3000-548 Coimbra, Portugal
2. Centro de Investigação Vasco da Gama, Escola Universitária Vasco da Gama (EUVG), Av. José R. Sousa Fernandes 197, Campus Universitário de Lordemão, 3020-210, Coimbra, Portugal.
Interests: analysis of the quality and safety of food and feed; human risk assessment
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It has been 60 years since the emblematic episode of the death of thousands of animals that led to the discovery of the aflatoxins, one of the most toxic fungal secondary metabolites known as mycotoxins. In this period, a remarkable collaborative and multidisciplinary scientific effort led to the development of mycotoxicology and contributed to raise awareness of the importance of mycotoxins, beyond animal health. Indeed, the burden of these fungal toxins on public health is of particular concern given the noticeable and wide range of toxic effects in humans, typically following a chronic exposure that make the diagnosis and establishment of causality difficult. Frequently at the top of the ranking of occurrence and notification worldwide, in both the food and feed chain, these contaminants still lack global harmonization on the regulations, aiming at reducing the human exposure. Moreover, mycotoxins are also recognized as one of the foodborne hazards more susceptible to increase with climate change. Given the link between animal, human, and environmental health, it is agreed that these contaminants continue to require a multisector and transdisciplinary joint effort, namely through the One Health approach.

Thus, this Special Issue addresses the challenge of mycotoxin contamination to food safety and welcomes studies that report mycotoxin occurrence data in the food chain; perform human exposure assessments through food consumption data and human biomonitoring including risk evaluation of mycotoxins, with special attention devoted to vulnerable groups such as children and the elderly; and describe new analytical methodologies to determine mycotoxins in food matrices. Critical reviews on the current and future challenges posed by mycotoxins, including emerging and masked mycotoxins, their risk for consumers, impacts on the agri-food industry and on the global food security and global trade, as well as regulatory issues are also welcome.

Prof. Dr. Angelina Lopes Simoes Pena
Prof. Dr. Carlos Augusto Fernandes De Oliveira
Prof. Dr. Sofia Cancela Duarte
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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 double-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 2400 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

  • biomonitoring
  • detection
  • emerging mycotoxins
  • exposure
  • food safety
  • food security
  • masked mycotoxins
  • monitoring
  • mycotoxins
  • regulation
  • risk assessment

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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Article
Development of an Extraction Method of Aflatoxins and Ochratoxin A from Oral, Gastric and Intestinal Phases of Digested Bread by In Vitro Model
Toxins 2022, 14(1), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14010038 - 04 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 563
Abstract
Validated extraction methods from in vitro digestion phases are necessary to obtain a suitable bioaccessibility study of mycotoxins in bakery products. The bakery industry produces bread with different ingredients to enrich the nutritional properties of this product and protect it from fungal growth. [...] Read more.
Validated extraction methods from in vitro digestion phases are necessary to obtain a suitable bioaccessibility study of mycotoxins in bakery products. The bakery industry produces bread with different ingredients to enrich the nutritional properties of this product and protect it from fungal growth. This bread can be contaminated by AFB1, AFB2, AFG1, AFG2 and OTA, so an extraction method was developed to analyse these five legislated mycotoxins in digested phases of two types of bread, one with wheat and the other with wheat and also enriched with Cucurbita Maxima Pepo at 20%. The studied “in vitro” digestion model consists of oral, gastric and duodenal phases, each one with different salt solutions and enzymes, that can affect the extraction and most probably the stability of the mycotoxins. The proposed method is a liquid–liquid extraction using ethyl acetate by extract concentration. These analytes and components have an important effect on the matrix effect (MEs) in the analytical equipment, therefore, validating the method and obtaining high sensitivity will be suitable. In the proposed method, the highest MEs were observed in the oral phase of digested pumpkin bread (29 to 15.9 %). Regarding the accuracy, the recoveries were above 83% in the digested duodenal wheat bread and above 76 % in the digested duodenal pumpkin wheat bread. The developed method is a rapid, easy and optimal option to apply to oral, gastric and duodenal phases of digested bread contaminated at a level of established maximum levels by European legislation (RC. 1881/2006) for food. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycotoxin Contamination and Food Safety)
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Article
Mycotoxin Interactions along the Gastrointestinal Tract: In Vitro Semi-Dynamic Digestion and Static Colonic Fermentation of a Contaminated Meal
Toxins 2022, 14(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14010028 - 01 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 779
Abstract
Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) and ochratoxin A (OTA) naturally co-occur in several foods, but no studies have followed the fate of mycotoxins’ interactions along the gastrointestinal tract using in vitro digestion models. This study used a novel semi-dynamic model that mimics gradual acidification and [...] Read more.
Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) and ochratoxin A (OTA) naturally co-occur in several foods, but no studies have followed the fate of mycotoxins’ interactions along the gastrointestinal tract using in vitro digestion models. This study used a novel semi-dynamic model that mimics gradual acidification and gastric emptying, coupled with a static colonic fermentation phase, in order to monitor mycotoxins’ bioaccessibility by the oral route. AFB1 and OTA bioaccessibility patterns differed in single or co-exposed scenarios. When co-exposed (MIX meal), AFB1 bioaccessibility at the intestinal level increased by ~16%, while OTA bioaccessibility decreased by ~20%. Additionally, a significant increase was observed in both intestinal cell viability and NO production. With regard to mycotoxin–probiotic interactions, the MIX meal showed a null effect on Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strain growth, while isolated AFB1 reduced bacterial growth parameters. These results were confirmed at phylum and family levels using a gut microbiota approach. After colonic fermentation, the fecal supernatant did not trigger the NF-kB activation pathway, indicating reduced toxicity of mycotoxins. In conclusion, if single exposed, AFB1 will have a significant impact on intestinal viability and probiotic growth, while OTA will mostly trigger NO production; in a co-exposure situation, both intestinal viability and inflammation will be affected, but the impact on probiotic growth will be neglected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycotoxin Contamination and Food Safety)
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Article
Survey of Freshly Harvested Oat Grains from Southern Brazil Reveals High Incidence of Type B Trichothecenes and Associated Fusarium Species
Toxins 2021, 13(12), 855; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins13120855 - 01 Dec 2021
Viewed by 981
Abstract
The current study investigated the fungal diversity in freshly harvested oat samples from the two largest production regions in Brazil, Paraná (PR) and Rio Grande do Sul (RS), focusing primarily on the Fusarium genus and the presence of type B trichothecenes. The majority [...] Read more.
The current study investigated the fungal diversity in freshly harvested oat samples from the two largest production regions in Brazil, Paraná (PR) and Rio Grande do Sul (RS), focusing primarily on the Fusarium genus and the presence of type B trichothecenes. The majority of the isolates belonged to the Fusarium sambucinum species complex, and were identified as F. graminearum sensu stricto (s.s.), F. meridionale, and F. poae. In the RS region, F. poae was the most frequent fungus, while F. graminearum s.s. was the most frequent in the PR region. The F. graminearum s.s. isolates were 15-ADON genotype, while F. meridionale and F. poae were NIV genotype. Mycotoxin analysis revealed that 92% and 100% of the samples from PR and RS were contaminated with type B trichothecenes, respectively. Oat grains from PR were predominantly contaminated with DON, whereas NIV was predominant in oats from RS. Twenty-four percent of the samples were contaminated with DON at levels higher than Brazilian regulations. Co-contamination of DON, its derivatives, and NIV was observed in 84% and 57.7% of the samples from PR and RS, respectively. The results provide new information on Fusarium contamination in Brazilian oats, highlighting the importance of further studies on mycotoxins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycotoxin Contamination and Food Safety)
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Article
Mycobiota and Mycotoxin Contamination of Traditional and Industrial Dry-Fermented Sausage Kulen
Toxins 2021, 13(11), 798; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins13110798 - 12 Nov 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 940
Abstract
The aim of this study was to identify and compare surface mycobiota of traditional and industrial Croatian dry-fermented sausage Kulen, especially toxicogenic species, and to detect contamination with mycotoxins recognized as the most important for meat products. Identification of mould species was [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to identify and compare surface mycobiota of traditional and industrial Croatian dry-fermented sausage Kulen, especially toxicogenic species, and to detect contamination with mycotoxins recognized as the most important for meat products. Identification of mould species was performed by sequence analysis of beta- tubulin and calmodulin gene, while the determination of mycotoxins aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), ochratoxin A (OTA), and cyclopiazonic acid (CPA) was carried out using the LC-MS/MS (liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry) method. The results showed a significantly higher number of mould isolates and greater species (including of those mycotoxigenic) diversity in traditional Kulen samples in comparison with the industrial ones. P. commune, as a potential CPA-producer, was the most represented in traditional Kulen (19.0%), followed by P. solitum (16.6%), which was the most represented in industrial Kulen samples (23.8%). The results also showed that 69% of the traditional sausage samples were contaminated with either CPA or OTA in concentrations of up to 13.35 µg/kg and 6.95 µg/kg, respectively, while in the industrial samples only OTA was detected (in a single sample in the concentration of 0.42 µg/kg). Mycotoxin AFB1 and its producers were not detected in any of the analysed samples (<LOD). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycotoxin Contamination and Food Safety)
Article
Efficacy of Bottle Gourd Seeds’ Extracts in Chemical Hazard Reduction Secreted as Toxigenic Fungi Metabolites
Toxins 2021, 13(11), 789; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins13110789 - 08 Nov 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1282
Abstract
Bottle gourd seeds are surrounded by innumerable bioactive components of phytochemicals. This work aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of bottle gourd extracts as antimicrobial and an-ti-mycotoxigenic against toxigenic fungi and mycotoxins. Polar and nonpolar extracts were made from the seeds. The polar eco-friendly [...] Read more.
Bottle gourd seeds are surrounded by innumerable bioactive components of phytochemicals. This work aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of bottle gourd extracts as antimicrobial and an-ti-mycotoxigenic against toxigenic fungi and mycotoxins. Polar and nonpolar extracts were made from the seeds. The polar eco-friendly extract was prepared by an ultrasonication-assisted technique utilizing aqueous isopropanol (80%), whereas the non-polar extract was obtained using petroleum ether (40–60). The antioxidant efficacy, total phenolic content, and flavonoid content of the extracts were all measured. The fatty acid profile was measured using GC equipment, and the influence on toxigenic fungus and mycotoxin release was also investigated. The antioxidant efficacy of the polar extract is reflected. The total phenolic values of the oil and polar extract were 15.5 and 267 mg of GAE/g, respectively. The total flavonoid content of the oil was 2.95 mg catechol/g, whereas the isopropyl extract of seeds contained 14.86 mg catechol/g. The polar extract inhibited the DPPH more effectively than oil. When compared to other seed oils, the fatty acid composition differed. The pathogens were distinguished by the MIC and MFC for the polar extract. Three sterols were found in the oil, with a high concentration of B-sitosterols. The oil’s valuable -carotene content and tocopherol content were recorded. When compared to traditional antibiotics, the polar extract has shown promising antimicrobial activity against infections and toxigenic fungi. Bottle gourd extracts, as a non-traditional bioactive source, are viewed as a potentially promising alternative that might contribute to increased food safety, shelf-life, and security. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycotoxin Contamination and Food Safety)
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Communication
Mycotoxin Co-Occurrence in Milks and Exposure Estimation: A Pilot Study in São Paulo, Brazil
Toxins 2021, 13(8), 507; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins13080507 - 21 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 981
Abstract
The aim of this study was to conduct a first evaluation on the co-occurrence of aflatoxins (AF) M1, B1, B2, G1 and G2; fumonisins (F) B1 and B2; deoxynivalenol (DON); de-epoxydeoxinivalenol [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to conduct a first evaluation on the co-occurrence of aflatoxins (AF) M1, B1, B2, G1 and G2; fumonisins (F) B1 and B2; deoxynivalenol (DON); de-epoxydeoxinivalenol (DOM-1); ochratoxin A (OTA); zearalenone (ZEN); α-zearalenol (α-ZEL); and β-zearalenol (β-ZEL) in 68 samples of fluid milk consumed in Pirassununga, São Paulo, Brazil. The probable daily intake (PDI) was also calculated for each mycotoxin evaluated. Mycotoxins were determined by liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry. Sixty-two (91.2%) samples contained at least one type of mycotoxin. AFM1 was found in 6 samples (8.8%), and none of them presented concentrations above the Brazilian maximum permitted level in milk (500 ng/L). Low levels of non-regulated mycotoxins DOM-1, OTA, FB1, FB2, α-ZEL and β-ZEL were found in 6 (8.8%), 17 (25%), 10 (14.7%), 3 (4.4%), 39 (57.4%) and 28 (41.2%) samples of milk, respectively. None of the PDIs calculated for the quantified mycotoxins were above recommended values, indicating low exposure through milk consumption in the area studied. However, 21 samples (30.9%) contained 2–4 types of mycotoxins, which warrants concern about the potential adverse effects of mycotoxin mixtures in milks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycotoxin Contamination and Food Safety)
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Communication
Dietary Supplements Based on Red Yeast Rice—A Source of Citrinin?
Toxins 2021, 13(7), 497; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins13070497 - 17 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1280
Abstract
Citrinin (CIT) is secondary metabolite of filamentous molds. This mycotoxin has nephrotoxic, hepatotoxic, embryocidal, and fetotoxic properties. It is also produced by several species of the three genera Penicillium spp., Aspergillus spp., and Monascus spp., which are used to make red yeast rice [...] Read more.
Citrinin (CIT) is secondary metabolite of filamentous molds. This mycotoxin has nephrotoxic, hepatotoxic, embryocidal, and fetotoxic properties. It is also produced by several species of the three genera Penicillium spp., Aspergillus spp., and Monascus spp., which are used to make red yeast rice (RYR). The material for this study consisted of 15 dietary supplements containing an extract of fermented red rice, available on the Polish market. Samples were extracted using a MeOH–H2O mixture, cleaned-up with an immunoaffinity CitriTest HPLC column, and quantified by HPLC–FLD. None of the analyzed samples contained CIT above the established limit of detection (LOD). Studies on the presence of toxic metabolites in red yeast rice show the importance of regulating this product and of clear information on the label regarding the standardized amounts of monacolin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycotoxin Contamination and Food Safety)
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Review

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Review
Mycotoxins’ Toxicological Mechanisms Involving Humans, Livestock and Their Associated Health Concerns: A Review
Toxins 2022, 14(3), 167; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14030167 - 24 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1060
Abstract
Mycotoxins are well established toxic metabolic entities produced when fungi invade agricultural/farm produce, and this happens especially when the conditions are favourable. Exposure to mycotoxins can directly take place via the consumption of infected foods and feeds; humans can also be indirectly exposed [...] Read more.
Mycotoxins are well established toxic metabolic entities produced when fungi invade agricultural/farm produce, and this happens especially when the conditions are favourable. Exposure to mycotoxins can directly take place via the consumption of infected foods and feeds; humans can also be indirectly exposed from consuming animals fed with infected feeds. Among the hundreds of mycotoxins known to humans, around a handful have drawn the most concern because of their occurrence in food and severe effects on human health. The increasing public health importance of mycotoxins across human and livestock environments mandates the continued review of the relevant literature, especially with regard to understanding their toxicological mechanisms. In particular, our analysis of recently conducted reviews showed that the toxicological mechanisms of mycotoxins deserve additional attention to help provide enhanced understanding regarding this subject matter. For this reason, this current work reviewed the mycotoxins’ toxicological mechanisms involving humans, livestock, and their associated health concerns. In particular, we have deepened our understanding about how the mycotoxins’ toxicological mechanisms impact on the human cellular genome. Along with the significance of mycotoxin toxicities and their toxicological mechanisms, there are associated health concerns arising from exposures to these toxins, including DNA damage, kidney damage, DNA/RNA mutations, growth impairment in children, gene modifications, and immune impairment. More needs to be done to enhance the understanding regards the mechanisms underscoring the environmental implications of mycotoxins, which can be actualized via risk assessment studies into the conditions/factors facilitating mycotoxins’ toxicities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycotoxin Contamination and Food Safety)
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Review
Mycotoxins in Pistachios (Pistacia vera L.): Methods for Determination, Occurrence, Decontamination
Toxins 2021, 13(10), 682; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins13100682 - 25 Sep 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1361
Abstract
The consumption of pistachios (Pistacia vera L.) has been increasing, given their important benefit to human health. In addition to being an excellent nutritional source, they have been associated with chemical hazards, such as mycotoxins, resulting in fungal contamination and its secondary [...] Read more.
The consumption of pistachios (Pistacia vera L.) has been increasing, given their important benefit to human health. In addition to being an excellent nutritional source, they have been associated with chemical hazards, such as mycotoxins, resulting in fungal contamination and its secondary metabolism. Aflatoxins (AFs) are the most common mycotoxins in pistachio and the most toxic to humans, with hepatotoxic effects. More mycotoxins such as ochratoxin A (OTA), fumonisins (FBs), zearalenone (ZEA) and trichothecenes (T2, HT2 and DON) and emerging mycotoxins have been involved in nuts. Because of the low levels of concentration and the complexity of the matrix, the determination techniques must be very sensitive. The present paper carries out an extensive review of the state of the art of the determination of mycotoxins in pistachios, concerning the trends in analytical methodologies for their determination and the levels detected as a result of its contamination. Screening methods based on immunoassays are useful due to their simplicity and rapid response. Liquid chromatography (LC) is the gold standard with new improvements to enhance accuracy, precision and sensitivity and a lower detection limit. The reduction of Aspergillus’ and aflatoxins’ contamination is important to minimize the public health risks. While prevention, mostly in pre-harvest, is the most effective and preferable measure to avoid mycotoxin contamination, there is an increased number of decontamination processes which will also be addressed in this review. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycotoxin Contamination and Food Safety)
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