Topic Editors

Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI), University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia
Applied Mycology Group, Environment and AgriFood Theme, Vincent Building, Cranfield University, Cranfield, Bedford MK43 0AL, UK

Emerging Food Safety Issues Associated with Mycotoxins

Abstract submission deadline
closed (1 November 2023)
Manuscript submission deadline
closed (1 December 2023)
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7139

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

Fungi are ubiquitous, and the formation of mycotoxins is not restricted to any component of the human food or animal feed supply chains. The level of contamination varies depending on location and reflects agronomic practices, climate and storage conditions, and an array of physical, chemical, and biological factors. Globally, mycotoxins have significant human and animal health, economic, and international trade implications. This has important consequences in both developed and developing countries. In developing countries, the primary concern with mycotoxin contamination is human health, and the impact on animal health and production is the second major concern. By contrast, in developed economies, additional costs to the producer and/or the consumer to meet the economic burden of regulating food and feed supply are the major mycotoxin concern, followed by the impact on animal health and production. Mycotoxins, once formed, are usually very stable chemically and will persist through food and beverage manufacture. Mycotoxins present a major analytical challenge due to the range of chemical compounds that they represent and the array of food and feed matrices in which they are found. There are a number of areas of mycotoxin analysis that require further study and refinement, including commodity sampling techniques, conjugated toxin determination, and field screening of commodities, especially cereal grains. Analysis is essential for determining the occurrence and extent of mycotoxin contamination, for risk analysis, confirming the diagnosis of mycotoxicosis and for monitoring mycotoxins in traded commodities and for evaluating mitigation strategies. Moreover, suitable biomarkers are also required for exposure and mitigation monitoring. The body of knowledge on all aspects of mycotoxicology is growing rapidly, but gaps remain. This presents both challenges and opportunities for those who keep our food supply safe from mycotoxin contamination. This challenge will be ongoing as mycotoxins are naturally occurring compounds and the risk of occurrence will be aggravated by climate change and social upheaval. Meeting these emerging food safety issues will provide many economic benefits through less contaminated crops and improved health of both humans and animals. In this Special Issue, papers describing the occurrence, analysis, and mitigation of mycotoxins in food, beverages, and animal feed would be most welcome. Papers on implications for health along with papers covering global mycotoxin topics pertinent to maintaining a secure and safe food supply are invited.

Prof. Dr. Wayne L. Bryden
Prof. Dr. Naresh Magan
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • mycotoxins
  • fungal ecology
  • occurrence
  • processing and storage
  • analysis
  • mitigation and prevention
  • toxicology and multitoxin interactions
  • exposure and risk assessment
  • economics, trade, and regulations
  • climate change
  • food/feed security
  • food/feed safety

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Agriculture
agriculture
3.6 4.9 2011 17.7 Days CHF 2600
Beverages
beverages
3.5 6.1 2015 18.5 Days CHF 1600
Foods
foods
5.2 7.4 2012 13.1 Days CHF 2900
Microorganisms
microorganisms
4.5 7.4 2013 15.1 Days CHF 2700
Toxins
toxins
4.2 7.5 2009 18.4 Days CHF 2700

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Published Papers (4 papers)

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15 pages, 1079 KiB  
Article
Reduction of Alternaria Toxins via the Extrusion Processing of Whole-Grain Red Sorghum Flour
by Elizabet Janić Hajnal, Janja Babič, Lato Pezo, Vojislav Banjac, Bojana Filipčev, Jelena Miljanić, Jovana Kos and Breda Jakovac-Strajn
Foods 2024, 13(2), 255; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13020255 - 13 Jan 2024
Viewed by 927
Abstract
This study delved into the impact of two extrusion processing parameters—screw speed (SS at 400, 600, 800 RPM) and material moisture content in the extruder barrel (M at 12, 15, 18%) at constant feed rate (50 kg/h)—on reducing the content of [...] Read more.
This study delved into the impact of two extrusion processing parameters—screw speed (SS at 400, 600, 800 RPM) and material moisture content in the extruder barrel (M at 12, 15, 18%) at constant feed rate (50 kg/h)—on reducing the content of alternariol (AOH), alternariol monomethyl ether (AME), tenuazonic acid (TeA), and tentoxin (TEN) in whole-grain red sorghum flour. Ultra-performance liquid chromatography combined with a triple-quadrupole mass spectrometer (UPLC-MS/MS) was employed for the determination of Alternaria toxin levels. The extruder die temperature fluctuated between 136 and 177 °C, with die pressures ranging from 0.16 to 6.23 MPa. The specific mechanical energy spanned from 83.5 to 152.3 kWh/t, the torque varied between 88 and 162.8 Nm, and the average material retention time in the barrel ranged from 5.6 to 13 s. The optimal parameters for reducing the concentration of all Alternaria toxins with a satisfactory quality of the sorghum snacks were: SS = 400 RPM, M = 12%, with a reduction of 61.4, 76.4, 12.1, and 50.8% for AOH, AME, TeA, and TEN, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Emerging Food Safety Issues Associated with Mycotoxins)
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33 pages, 2075 KiB  
Review
What Is Fusarium Head Blight (FHB) Resistance and What Are Its Food Safety Risks in Wheat? Problems and Solutions—A Review
by Akos Mesterhazy
Toxins 2024, 16(1), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins16010031 - 8 Jan 2024
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1985
Abstract
The term “Fusarium Head Blight” (FHB) resistance supposedly covers common resistances to different Fusarium spp. without any generally accepted evidence. For food safety, all should be considered with their toxins, except for deoxynivalenol (DON). Disease index (DI), scabby kernels (FDK), and DON steadily [...] Read more.
The term “Fusarium Head Blight” (FHB) resistance supposedly covers common resistances to different Fusarium spp. without any generally accepted evidence. For food safety, all should be considered with their toxins, except for deoxynivalenol (DON). Disease index (DI), scabby kernels (FDK), and DON steadily result from FHB, and even the genetic regulation of Fusarium spp. may differ; therefore, multitoxin contamination is common. The resistance types of FHB form a rather complex syndrome that has been the subject of debate for decades. It seems that resistance types are not independent variables but rather a series of components that follow disease and epidemic development; their genetic regulation may differ. Spraying inoculation (Type 1 resistance) includes the phase where spores land on palea and lemma and spread to the ovarium and also includes the spread-inhibiting resistance factor; therefore, it provides the overall resistance that is needed. A significant part of Type 1-resistant QTLs could, therefore, be Type 2, requiring the retesting of the QTLs; this is, at least, the case for the most effective ones. The updated resistance components are as follows: Component 1 is overall resistance, as discussed above; Component 2 includes spreading from the ovarium through the head, which is a part of Component 1; Component 3 includes factors from grain development to ripening (FDK); Component 4 includes factors influencing DON contamination, decrease, overproduction, and relative toxin resistance; and for Component 5, the tolerance has a low significance without new results. Independent QTLs with different functions can be identified for one or more traits. Resistance to different Fusarium spp. seems to be connected; it is species non-specific, but further research is necessary. Their toxin relations are unknown. DI, FDK, and DON should be checked as they serve as the basic data for the risk analysis of cultivars. A better understanding of the multitoxin risk is needed regarding resistance to the main Fusarium spp.; therefore, an updated testing methodology is suggested. This will provide more precise data for research, genetics, and variety registration. In winter and spring wheat, the existing resistance level is very high, close to Sumai 3, and provides much greater food safety combined with sophisticated fungicide preventive control and other practices in commercial production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Emerging Food Safety Issues Associated with Mycotoxins)
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20 pages, 5055 KiB  
Review
Advancements in Sample Preparation Methods for the Chromatographic and Mass Spectrometric Determination of Zearalenone and Its Metabolites in Food: An Overview
by Yifeng Lou, Qingyang Xu, Jiaqi Chen, Sen Yang, Zheng Zhu and Di Chen
Foods 2023, 12(19), 3558; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12193558 - 25 Sep 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1292
Abstract
Zearalenone and its metabolites are mycotoxins generated by Fusarium species while crops are growing and can typically be found in various foods, posing a risk to human health. Governments have implemented stricter regulations concerning the permissible levels of zearalenone in food products to [...] Read more.
Zearalenone and its metabolites are mycotoxins generated by Fusarium species while crops are growing and can typically be found in various foods, posing a risk to human health. Governments have implemented stricter regulations concerning the permissible levels of zearalenone in food products to safeguard public health. Stricter regulations on zearalenone levels in food have been implemented. However, detecting zearalenone and its metabolites remains challenging due to sample complexity and interference. Surprisingly few reviews of sample preparation methods for zearalenone in food have appeared in the past decade. In this overview, we outline the most recent developments in the sample pre-treatment technology of zearalenone and its metabolites in food samples based on chromatography–mass spectrometry methods since 2012. This review covers some prominent technologies, such as liquid–liquid extraction-based methods, solid-phase extraction-based methods, and QuEChERS (quick, easy, cheap, effective, rugged, and safe) extraction, providing valuable insights into their advantages and limitations for potential applications. The assessment of the methods discussed, along with an overview of current challenges and prospects, will guide researchers in advancing the field and ensuring safer food quality for consumers worldwide. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Emerging Food Safety Issues Associated with Mycotoxins)
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13 pages, 908 KiB  
Article
Natural Occurrence of Alternaria Toxins in Citrus-Based Products Collected from China in 2021
by Xiaomin Han, Wenjing Xu, Luxinyi Wang, Ruina Zhang, Jin Ye, Jing Zhang, Jin Xu and Yu Wu
Toxins 2023, 15(5), 325; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15050325 - 9 May 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1653
Abstract
A total of 181 citrus-based products, including dried fruits, canned fruits, and fruit juices, collected from China and from abroad in 2021 were analyzed for the four Alternaria toxins (ALTs): alternariol (AOH), alternariol monomethyl ether (AME), tentoxin (TEN), and tenuazonic acid (TeA) via [...] Read more.
A total of 181 citrus-based products, including dried fruits, canned fruits, and fruit juices, collected from China and from abroad in 2021 were analyzed for the four Alternaria toxins (ALTs): alternariol (AOH), alternariol monomethyl ether (AME), tentoxin (TEN), and tenuazonic acid (TeA) via ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography–electrospray ionization–tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-ESI-MS). Although the concentrations of the four ALTs varied by product and geographically, TeA was the predominant toxin followed by AOH, AME, and TEN. Products made in China showed higher levels of ALTs than those made abroad. Maximum levels of TeA, AOH, and AME in analyzed domestic samples were 4.9-fold, 1.3-fold, and 1.2-fold, respectively, higher than those in imported products. Furthermore, 83.4% (151/181) of the analyzed citrus-based products were contaminated with at least two or more ALTs. There were significant positive correlations between AOH and AME, AME and TeA, and TeA and TEN in all analyzed samples. More importantly, the solid and the condensed liquid products had higher concentrations of ALTs than the semi-solid product samples, as well as tangerines, pummelos, and grapefruits compared to the other kinds of citrus-based products. In conclusion, co-contamination with ALTs in commercially available Chinese citrus-based products was universal. Extensive and systematic surveillance of ALTs in citrus-based products, both domestic and imported, is required to obtain more scientific data for the determination of the maximum allowable concentrations of ALTs in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Emerging Food Safety Issues Associated with Mycotoxins)
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