Special Issue "Mycotoxins in Food: Origin and Management of Risk"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 March 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Antonia Susca
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Institute of Science of Food Production (ISPA), National Research Council (CNR), Via Amendola 122/O, 70126 Bari (BA), Italy
Dr. Antonio Moretti
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Institute of Science of Food Production (ISPA), National Research Council (CNR), Via Amendola 122/O, 70126 Bari (BA), Italy
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The reduction of mycotoxin occurrence in the food chain is a primary goal for all scientists researching mycotoxins. However, this aim requires a full understanding of the sources and routes of contamination, as well as inspection and detection accuracy.

Many strategies to prevent mycotoxin contamination of food and animal feed have been developed, both in the field as well as during storage. The use of pre-harvest control strategies (such as resistant/tolerant varieties, crop rotation, biological and chemical agents, harvest time management) and post-harvest applications (including improved drying and storage conditions, use of natural and chemical agents and irradiation) are all important factors in the prevention of mycotoxigenic mold growth and mycotoxin formation in  food commodities.

Moreover, since environmental parameters profoundly affect the growth, distribution, and mycotoxin production in fungi, climate change is a new and current issue in the topic of mycotoxins, since new mycotoxin–commodity–geographical area combinations need to be investigated.

This Special Issue will focus on the monitoring and identification of mycotoxin-producing species in different crops; evidence for the emergence of new fungal genotypes with higher levels of aggressiveness and altered mycotoxin production; improving the inspection and analysis of mycotoxins in foods and feeds; developing methods that are more rapid, precise, sensitive, selective, and inexpensive; and combining control methods to yield effective strategies for prevention/reduction of mycotoxin contamination both in the field and/or during storage.

Moreover, new mycotoxin–host plant–geographical area combinations will be considered as they can direct the attention of the scientific community toward new diagnostic tools and deeper knowledge of both the biology and genetics of toxigenic fungi.

Dr. Antonia Susca
Dr. Antonio Moretti
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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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 2000 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

  • mycotoxins
  • analytical methods
  • fungal biodiversity
  • fungal monitoring
  • genomics
  • metabolomics
  • pathogenicity
  • control
  • GAPs

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Isolation, Molecular Identification, and Mycotoxin Production of Aspergillus Species Isolated from the Rhizosphere of Sugarcane in the South of Iran
Toxins 2020, 12(2), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins12020122 (registering DOI) - 14 Feb 2020
Abstract
Knowledge of the genetic diversity detected among fungal species belonging to the genus Aspergillus is of key importance for explaining their important ecological role in the environment and agriculture. The current study aimed to identify Aspergillus species occurring in the rhizosphere of sugarcane [...] Read more.
Knowledge of the genetic diversity detected among fungal species belonging to the genus Aspergillus is of key importance for explaining their important ecological role in the environment and agriculture. The current study aimed to identify Aspergillus species occurring in the rhizosphere of sugarcane in the South of Iran, and to investigate their mycotoxin profiles. One-hundred and twenty-five Aspergillus strains were isolated from the soil of eight major sugarcane-producing sites, and were molecularly identified using sequences of partial -tubulin (benA) and partial calmodulin (CaM) genes. Our molecular and phylogenetic results showed that around 70% of strains belonged to the Aspergillus section Nigri, and around 25% of species belonged to the Aspergillus section Terrei. Species belonging to both sections are able to produce different mycotoxins. The production of mycotoxins was measured for each species, according to their known mycotoxin profile: patulin (PAT) and sterigmatocystin (STG) for Aspergillus terreus; ochratoxin A (OTA) and fumonisins for Aspergillus welwitschiae; and OTA alone for Aspergillus tubingensis. The data showed that the production of OTA was detected in only 4 out of 10 strains of A. welwitschiae, while none of the A. tubingensis strains analyzed produced the mycotoxin. Fumonisins were produced by 8 out of 10 strains of A. welwitschiae. Finally, none of the 23 strains of A. terreus produced STG, while 13 of them produced PAT. The occurrence of such mycotoxigenic plant pathogens among the fungal community occurring in soil of sugarcane fields may represent a significant source of inoculum for the possible colonization of sugarcane plants, since the early stages of plant growth, due to the mycotoxin production capability, could have worrisome implications in terms of both the safety and loss of products at harvest. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycotoxins in Food: Origin and Management of Risk)
Open AccessArticle
A Polyphasic Approach to Compare the Genomic Profiles of Aflatoxigenic and Non-Aflatoxigenic Isolates of Aspergillus Section Flavi
Toxins 2020, 12(1), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins12010056 - 16 Jan 2020
Abstract
Aflatoxins (AF) are highly toxic compounds produced by Aspergillus section Flavi. They spoil food crops and present a serious global health hazard to humans and livestock. The aim of this study was to examine the phylogenetic relationships among aflatoxigenic and non-aflatoxigenic Aspergillus [...] Read more.
Aflatoxins (AF) are highly toxic compounds produced by Aspergillus section Flavi. They spoil food crops and present a serious global health hazard to humans and livestock. The aim of this study was to examine the phylogenetic relationships among aflatoxigenic and non-aflatoxigenic Aspergillus isolates. A polyphasic approach combining phylogenetic, sequence, and toxin analyses was applied to 40 Aspergillus section Flavi isolates collected from eight countries around the world (USA, Philippines, Egypt, India, Australia, Indonesia, China, and Uganda). This allows one to pinpoint the key genomic features that distinguish AF producing and non-producing isolates. Based on molecular identification, 32 (80%) were identified as A. flavus, three (7.5%) as A. parasiticus, three (7.5%) as A. nomius and one (2.5%) as A. tamarii. Toxin analysis showed that 22 (55%) Aspergillus isolates were aflatoxigenic. The majority of the toxic isolates (62.5%) originated from Egypt. The highest aflatoxin production potential was observed in an A. nomius isolate which is originally isolated from the Philippines. DNA-based molecular markers such as random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) and inter-simple sequence repeats (ISSR) were used to evaluate the genetic diversity and phylogenetic relationships among these 40 Aspergillus isolates, which were originally selected from 80 isolates. The percentage of polymorphic bands in three RAPD and three ISSR primers was 81.9% and 79.37%, respectively. Analysis of molecular variance showed significant diversity within the populations, 92% for RAPD and 85% for ISSR primers. The average of Polymorphism Information Content (PIC), Marker Index (MI), Nei’s gene diversity (H) and Shannon’s diversity index (I) in ISSR markers are higher than those in RAPD markers. Based on banding patterns and gene diversities values, we observed that the ISSR-PCR provides clearer data and is more successful in genetic diversity analyses than RAPD-PCR. Dendrograms generated from UPGMA (Unweighted Pair Group Method with Arithmetic Mean) cluster analyses for RAPD and ISSR markers were related to the geographic origin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycotoxins in Food: Origin and Management of Risk)
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Open AccessArticle
Knowledge, Attitude and Practice of Malawian Farmers on Pre- and Post-Harvest Crop Management to Mitigate Aflatoxin Contamination in Groundnut, Maize and Sorghum—Implication for Behavioral Change
Toxins 2019, 11(12), 716; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11120716 - 09 Dec 2019
Abstract
A knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) study was conducted in three districts of Malawi to test whether the training had resulted in increased knowledge and adoption of recommended pre- and post-harvest crop management practices, and their contribution to reducing aflatoxin contamination in groundnut, [...] Read more.
A knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) study was conducted in three districts of Malawi to test whether the training had resulted in increased knowledge and adoption of recommended pre- and post-harvest crop management practices, and their contribution to reducing aflatoxin contamination in groundnut, maize and sorghum. The study was conducted with 900 farmers at the baseline and 624 farmers at the end-line, while 726 and 696 harvested crop samples were collected for aflatoxin testing at the baseline and end-line, respectively. Results show that the knowledge and practice of pre- and post-harvest crop management for mitigating aflatoxin were inadequate among the farmers at the baseline but somewhat improved after the training as shown at the end-line. As a result, despite unfavorable weather, the mean aflatoxin contamination level in their grain samples decreased from 83.6 to 55.8 ppb (p < 0.001). However, it was also noted that increased knowledge did not significantly change farmers’ attitude toward not consuming grade-outs because of economic incentive incompatibility, leaving potential for improving the practices further. This existing gap in the adoption of aflatoxin mitigation practices calls for approaches that take into account farmers’ needs and incentives to attain sustainable behavioral change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycotoxins in Food: Origin and Management of Risk)
Open AccessArticle
Mycotoxin Dietary Exposure Assessment through Fruit Juices Consumption in Children and Adult Population
Toxins 2019, 11(12), 684; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11120684 - 22 Nov 2019
Abstract
Consumption of fruit juice is becoming trendy for consumers seeking freshness and high vitamin and low caloric intake. Mycotoxigenic moulds may infect fruits during crop growth, harvest, and storage leading to mycotoxin production. Many mycotoxins are resistant to food processing, which make their [...] Read more.
Consumption of fruit juice is becoming trendy for consumers seeking freshness and high vitamin and low caloric intake. Mycotoxigenic moulds may infect fruits during crop growth, harvest, and storage leading to mycotoxin production. Many mycotoxins are resistant to food processing, which make their presence in the final juice product very likely expected. In this way, the presence of 30 mycotoxins including aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), aflatoxin B2 (AFB2), aflatoxin G1 (AFG1), aflatoxin G2 (AFG2), alternariol (AOH), alternariol monomethyl ether (AME), Ochratoxin A (OTA), fumonisin B1 (FB1), fumonisin B2 (FB2), enniatin A (ENNA), enniatin A1 (ENNA1), enniatin B (ENNB), enniatin B1 (ENNB1), beauvericin (BEA), sterigmatocystin (STG), zearalenone (ZEA), α-zearalanol (α-ZAL), β-zearalanol (β-ZAL), α-zearalenol (α-ZOL), β-zearalenol (β-ZOL), deoxynivalenol (DON), 3-acetyl-deoxynivalenol (3-ADON), 15-acetyl-deoxynivalenol (15-ADON), diacetoxyscirpenol (DAS), nivalenol (NIV), fusarenon-X (FUS-X), neosolaniol (NEO), patulin (PAT), T-2 toxin and HT-2 toxin was evaluated in 80 juice samples collected from Valencia retail Market. An efficient Dispersive Liquid-Liquid Microextraction method (DLLME) was carried out before their trace level determination by chromatographic techniques coupled to tandem mass spectrometry. The results obtained revealed the presence of nine mycotoxins namely AOH, AME, PAT, OTA, AFB1, AFB2, AFG2, β-ZAL, and HT2 in the analyzed samples, with incidences ranging from 3 to 29% and mean contents between 0.14 and 59.52 µg/L. Considerable percentages of TDIs were reached by children when 200 mL was considered as daily fruit juice intake. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycotoxins in Food: Origin and Management of Risk)
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