Topical Collection "Strategies to Minimising Mycotoxin Contamination in Foods and Feeds"

A topical collection in Toxins (ISSN 2072-6651). This collection belongs to the section "Mycotoxins".

Editors

Dr. Mar Rodriguez Jovita
E-Mail Website
Collection Editor
Food Hygiene and Safety, Meat and Meat Products Research Institute, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Extremadura, Avenida de las Ciencias s/n 10003 Caceres, Spain
Interests: technological and toxicological evaluation of microorganisms in meat products; strategies to control toxigenic moulds; real-time PCR methods to quantify microorganisms and analyse gene expression
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Félix Núñez
E-Mail Website
Collection Editor
Food Hygiene and Safety, Meat and Meat Products Research Institute, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Universidad de Extremadura, Cáceres, Spain
Interests: dry-cured foods; mycotoxins; protective cultures; biocontrol
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

Contamination of foods and agricultural commodities by toxigenic fungi represents a significant hazard to consumer health and, is a major concern in food safety. Moulds naturally present in foods can produce mycotoxins and contaminate foodstuffs under favourable conditions of temperature, relative humidity, pH and nutrient availability.

Mycotoxins are in general stable molecules, difficult to remove from foods and feeds once they have been produced. On the other hand, there are compounds with very different toxic properties, and in addition to the most common mycotoxins, such as aflatoxins, DON, fumonisins, ochratoxins, zearalenone, etc., other mycotoxins such as eniantins, beauvericin, cyclopiazonic acid, sterigmatocystin, citrinin, etc. are emerging.

Their presence in foods and feeds is a recurrent problem and may also lead to significant economic losses, and the prevention of mycotoxin contamination is one of the main goals of agriculture and food industry. Therefore, the food safety demands permanent efforts on research for exploring new strategies to minimise mycotoxin contamination.

The aim of this topical collection is to gather the most recent research that provide data about effective strategies to prevent or reduce the presence of major and emerging mycotoxins in foods and feeds, including, but not limited to: biocontrol strategies including microorganisms producing of antifungal compounds, or able to compete for space and nutrients, studies about mechanisms of action of antifungal agents, detoxification technologies such as chemical removal, physical binding, or biological degradation of mycotoxins, and improved packaging materials.

Dr. Mar Rodriguez Jovita
Dr. Félix Núñez
Collection Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Mycotoxins
  • Emerging mycotoxins
  • Food and feed
  • Biocontrol
  • Biological detoxification
  • Chemical detoxification
  • Physical detoxification
  • Improved packaging materials

Published Papers (9 papers)

2021

Jump to: 2020, 2019

Article
Effect of Popcorn (Zea mays var. everta) Popping Mode (Microwave, Hot Oil, and Hot Air) on Fumonisins and Deoxynivalenol Contamination Levels
Toxins 2021, 13(7), 486; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins13070486 - 13 Jul 2021
Viewed by 401
Abstract
Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites that are produced by molds during their development. According to fungal physiological particularities, mycotoxins can contaminate crops before harvest or during storage. Among toxins that represent a real public health issue, those produced by Fusarium genus in cereals before [...] Read more.
Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites that are produced by molds during their development. According to fungal physiological particularities, mycotoxins can contaminate crops before harvest or during storage. Among toxins that represent a real public health issue, those produced by Fusarium genus in cereals before harvest are of great importance since they are the most frequent in European productions. Among them, deoxynivalenol (DON) and fumonisins (FUM) frequently contaminate maize. In recent years, numerous studies have investigated whether food processing techniques can be exploited to reduce the levels of these two mycotoxins, which would allow the identification and quantification of parameters affecting mycotoxin stability. The particularity of the popcorn process is that it associates heat treatment with a particular physical phenomenon (i.e., expansion). Three methods exist to implement the popcorn transformation process: hot air, hot oil, and microwaves, all of which are tested in this study. The results show that all popping modes significantly reduce FUM contents in both Mushroom and Butterfly types of popcorn. The mean initial contamination of 1351 µg/kg was reduced by 91% on average after popping. For DON, the reduction was less important despite a lower initial contamination than for FUM (560 µg/kg). Only the hot oil popping for the Mushroom type significantly reduced the contamination up to 78% compared to unpopped controls. Hot oil popping appears to provide the most important reduction for the two considered mycotoxins for both types of popcorn (−98% and −58% average reduction for FUM and DON, respectively). Full article
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2020

Jump to: 2021, 2019

Article
Bioactive Components of Pomegranate Oil and Their Influence on Mycotoxin Secretion
Toxins 2020, 12(12), 748; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12120748 - 27 Nov 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 846
Abstract
Pomegranate, similar to other fruits, has juice-extraction by-products. Pomegranate seed oil (PGO) is a non-traditional oil with health benefits, rich in bioactive components. This study was aimed to assess PGO phytochemicals and their influence as bioactive components to reduce mycotoxin secretion. The encapsulation [...] Read more.
Pomegranate, similar to other fruits, has juice-extraction by-products. Pomegranate seed oil (PGO) is a non-traditional oil with health benefits, rich in bioactive components. This study was aimed to assess PGO phytochemicals and their influence as bioactive components to reduce mycotoxin secretion. The encapsulation was applied in micro and nanoforms to protect the quality and enhance the efficacy of the oil. The PGO was extracted using ultrasound-assisted methods. Carotenoids, tocochromanols, sterols, phenolic, flavonoid, antioxidant, and antimicrobial activity were determined. The fatty acid profile was analyzed by the GC-MS, while mycotoxin was determined utilizing the HPLC apparatus. The toxicity and protective action of oil were examined using the hepatocytes’ cell line. The resultant oil acts as oleoresin that is rich in bioactive molecules. Phenolics and antioxidant potency recorded higher values compared to traditional vegetable oils, whereas polyunsaturated fatty acids were 87.51%. The major fatty acid was conjugated punicic acid (81.29%), which has high biological effects. Application of the PGO on fungal media reduced aflatoxins secretion up to 63%, and zearalenone up to 78.5%. These results confirm the bio-functionality of oil to regulate the fungal secondary metabolites process. The PGO is a unique prospective non-traditional oil and has several functionalities in food, which achieve nutritional, antioxidant, and anti-mycotoxigenic activities. Full article
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Opinion
The MyToolbox EU–China Partnership—Progress and Future Directions in Mycotoxin Research and Management
Toxins 2020, 12(11), 712; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12110712 - 11 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2147
Abstract
Affordable and practical tools for farmers and food processors along the chain are required to efficiently reduce the risk of mycotoxin contamination of crops, feeds and foods. Developing new tools and enhancing existing ones was the mission of MyToolBox—a four-year EU-project that included [...] Read more.
Affordable and practical tools for farmers and food processors along the chain are required to efficiently reduce the risk of mycotoxin contamination of crops, feeds and foods. Developing new tools and enhancing existing ones was the mission of MyToolBox—a four-year EU-project that included important Chinese partners and joint research efforts. To identify future directions in mycotoxin research and management in China and their role in China–EU relations, a unique stakeholder workshop including group discussions was organized in Beijing. Six related topics: biocontrol, forecasting, sampling and analysis, silo management, detoxification, and the development of safe use options for contaminated materials were covered. The discussions clearly identified a critical need for smart, integrated strategies to address mycotoxin issues to attain safer food and feed, and to minimize losses and export rejections. Managing data on when, where and the size of mycotoxin contamination events and identifying the institution(s) to manage them are complex issues in China. Studies of microbes and novel, genetically-altered enzymes to limit pre-harvest contamination and to manage post-harvest product detoxification and alternate uses of contaminated materials are in the early stages in China. Further efforts are needed to increase the visibility of mycotoxin problems beyond the scientific and research communities. Full article
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Article
Investigating Useful Properties of Four Streptomyces Strains Active against Fusarium graminearum Growth and Deoxynivalenol Production on Wheat Grains by qPCR
Toxins 2020, 12(9), 560; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12090560 - 31 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 878
Abstract
Streptomyces spp. can be exploited as biocontrol agents (BCAs) against plant pathogens such as Fusarium graminearum, the main causal agent of Fusarium head blight (FHB) and against the contamination of grains with deoxynivalenol (DON). In the present research, four Streptomyces strains active [...] Read more.
Streptomyces spp. can be exploited as biocontrol agents (BCAs) against plant pathogens such as Fusarium graminearum, the main causal agent of Fusarium head blight (FHB) and against the contamination of grains with deoxynivalenol (DON). In the present research, four Streptomyces strains active against F. graminearum in dual plate assays were characterized for their ability to colonize detached wheat grains in the presence of F. graminearum and to limit DON production. The pathogen and BCA abundance were assessed by a quantitative real-time PCR, while DON production was assessed by HPLC quantification and compared to ergosterol to correlate the toxin production to the amount of fungal mycelium. Fungal growth and mycotoxin production were assessed with both co-inoculation and late inoculation of the BCAs in vitro (three days post-Fusarium inoculation) to test the interaction between the fungus and the bacteria. The level of inhibition of the pathogen and the toxin production were strain-specific. Overall, a higher level of DON inhibition (up to 99%) and a strong reduction in fungal biomass (up to 71%) were achieved when streptomycetes were co-inoculated with the fungus. This research enabled studying the antifungal efficacy of the four Streptomyces strains and monitoring their development in DON-inducing conditions. Full article
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Article
Reducing Ochratoxin A Content in Grape Pomace by Different Methods
Toxins 2020, 12(7), 424; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12070424 - 27 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 785
Abstract
Grape pomace (GP) is the residue of grapes after wine making and is a valuable source of dietary polyphenol and fiber for health promotion. However, studies found the presence of ochratoxin A (OTA) in GP at very high concentrations, which raises a safety [...] Read more.
Grape pomace (GP) is the residue of grapes after wine making and is a valuable source of dietary polyphenol and fiber for health promotion. However, studies found the presence of ochratoxin A (OTA) in GP at very high concentrations, which raises a safety issue in the value-added utilization of GP. This study evaluated the effects of thermal pressure, baking, acid and enzymatic treatments on OTA content in GP. Thermal pressure treatment was conducted with wet GP at 121 °C for 10–30 min in an autoclave; acid treatments were conducted with hydrochloric acid, acetic acid, citric acid, and lactic acid, respectively, at 50 °C for 24 h. Baking was conducted using a cookie model. For enzymatic treatment, purified OTA solution was treated with carboxypeptidase A, alcalase, flavourzyme, pepsin, and lipase, respectively, and the effective enzymes were selected to treat GP. Results show that autoclaving for 10–30 min reduced 19–80% of OTA, varying with treatment time and GP variety. The effectiveness of acid treatment was similar to that of autoclaving and varied with acid type and GP variety. Baking increased the detectable OTA. Among all tested enzymes, carboxypeptidase A was the most effective in reducing OTA, followed by lipase and flavourzyme, but their effects were significantly lower in GP samples. Full article
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Article
Methanolic Extracts from Cultivated Mushrooms Affect the Production of Fumonisins B and Fusaric Acid by Fusarium verticillioides
Toxins 2020, 12(6), 366; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12060366 - 02 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1095
Abstract
The maize pathogen Fusarium verticillioides and their mycotoxins cause damage to plants, animals, and human health. This work aimed to evaluate the effect of crude extracts (CEs) from Agaricus subrufescens, Lentinula edodes, and Pleurotus ostreatus fruiting bodies on in vitro production [...] Read more.
The maize pathogen Fusarium verticillioides and their mycotoxins cause damage to plants, animals, and human health. This work aimed to evaluate the effect of crude extracts (CEs) from Agaricus subrufescens, Lentinula edodes, and Pleurotus ostreatus fruiting bodies on in vitro production of biomass and mycotoxins by two strains of F. verticillioides. Stipes and pilei were separated before extraction for A. subrufescens and L. edodes. Comparative metabolomics and dereplication of phenolic compounds were used to analyze all CEs. Mushroom CEs did not significantly inhibit the production of mycelial biomass at concentrations of 2 mg mL−1. CEs from A. subrufescens (stipes and pilei) and L. edodes pilei inhibited the production of fumonisins B1 + B2 + B3 by 54% to 80%, whereas CE from P. ostreatus had no effect. In contrast, CE from L. edodes stipes dramatically increased the concentration of fumonisins in culture media. Fusaric acid concentration was decreased in cultures by all CEs except L. edodes stipes. Differences in phenolic composition of the extracts may explain the different effects of the CE treatments on the production of mycotoxins. The opposing activities of stipes and pilei from L. edodes offer an opportunity to search for active compounds to control the mycotoxin production by F. verticillioides. Full article
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Article
Minimizing Ochratoxin A Contamination through the Use of Actinobacteria and Their Active Molecules
Toxins 2020, 12(5), 296; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12050296 - 05 May 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1187
Abstract
Ochratoxin A (OTA) is a secondary metabolite produced by fungal pathogens such as Penicillium verrucosum, which develops in food commodities during storage such as cereals, grapes, and coffee. It represents public health concerns due to its genotoxicity, carcinogenicity, and teratogenicity. The objective [...] Read more.
Ochratoxin A (OTA) is a secondary metabolite produced by fungal pathogens such as Penicillium verrucosum, which develops in food commodities during storage such as cereals, grapes, and coffee. It represents public health concerns due to its genotoxicity, carcinogenicity, and teratogenicity. The objective of this study was to evaluate the ability of actinobacteria and their metabolites to degrade OTA and/or to decrease its production. Sixty strains of actinobacteria were tested for their ability to prevent OTA formation by in vitro dual culture assays or with cell free extracts (CFEs). In dual culture, 17 strains strongly inhibited fungal growth, although it was generally associated with an increase in OTA specific production. Seventeen strains inhibited OTA specific production up to 4% of the control. Eleven actinobacteria CFEs reduced OTA specific production up to 62% of the control, while no substantial growth inhibition was observed except for two strains up to 72% of the control. Thirty-three strains were able to degrade OTA almost completely in liquid medium whereas only five were able to decrease it on solid medium, and two of them reduced OTA to an undetectable amount. Our results suggest that OTA decrease could be related to different strategies of degradation/metabolization by actinobacteria, through enzyme activities and secretion of secondary metabolites interfering with the OTA biosynthetic pathway. CFEs appeared to be ineffective at degrading OTA, raising interesting questions about the detoxification mechanisms. Common degradation by-products (e.g., OTα or L-β-phenylalanine) were searched by HPLC-MS/MS, however, none of them were found, which implies a different mechanism of detoxification and/or a subsequent degradation into unknown products. Full article
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Article
Isolation and Characterization of a Deoxynivalenol-Degrading Bacterium Bacillus licheniformis YB9 with the Capability of Modulating Intestinal Microbial Flora of Mice
Toxins 2020, 12(3), 184; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12030184 - 15 Mar 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1079
Abstract
Deoxynivalenol (DON) is one of the most prevalent food- and feed-associated mycotoxins. It frequently contaminates agricultural commodities and poses serious threats to human and animal health and leads to tremendous economic losses globally. Much attention has been paid to using microorganisms to detoxify [...] Read more.
Deoxynivalenol (DON) is one of the most prevalent food- and feed-associated mycotoxins. It frequently contaminates agricultural commodities and poses serious threats to human and animal health and leads to tremendous economic losses globally. Much attention has been paid to using microorganisms to detoxify DON. In this study, a Bacillus licheniformis strain named YB9 with a strong ability to detoxify DON was isolated and characterized from a moldy soil sample. YB9 could degrade more than 82.67% of 1 mg/L DON within 48 h at 37 °C and showed strong survival and DON degradation rate at simulated gastric fluid. The effects of YB9 on mice with DON intragastrical administration were further investigated by biochemical and histopathological examination and the gut microbiota was analyzed by 16S rRNA Illumina sequencing technology. The results showed that DON increased the levels of aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and creatinine (Cr), decreased those of immunoglobulin G (IgG) and IgM in serum, and resulted in severe pathological damage of the liver, kidney, and spleen. By contrast, YB9 supplementation obviously inhibited or attenuated the damages caused by DON in mice. In addition, YB9 addition repaired the DON-induced dysbiosis of intestinal flora, characterized by recovering the balance of Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes to the normal level and decreasing the abundance of the potentially harmful bacterium Turicibacter and the excessive Lactobacillus caused by DON. Taken together, DON-degrading strain YB9 might be used as potential probiotic additive for improving food and feed safety and modulating the intestinal microbial flora of humans and animals. Full article
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2019

Jump to: 2021, 2020

Review
Use of Competitive Filamentous Fungi as an Alternative Approach for Mycotoxin Risk Reduction in Staple Cereals: State of Art and Future Perspectives
Toxins 2019, 11(12), 701; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins11120701 - 02 Dec 2019
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1759
Abstract
Among plant fungal diseases, those affecting cereals represent a huge problem in terms of food security and safety. Cereals, such as maize and wheat, are very often targets of mycotoxigenic fungi. The limited availability of chemical plant protection products and physical methods to [...] Read more.
Among plant fungal diseases, those affecting cereals represent a huge problem in terms of food security and safety. Cereals, such as maize and wheat, are very often targets of mycotoxigenic fungi. The limited availability of chemical plant protection products and physical methods to control mycotoxigenic fungi and to reduce food and feed mycotoxin contamination fosters alternative approaches, such as the use of beneficial fungi as an active ingredient of biological control products. Competitive interactions, including both exploitation and interference competition, between pathogenic and beneficial fungi, are generally recognized as mechanisms to control plant pathogens populations and to manage plant diseases. In the present review, two examples concerning the use of competitive beneficial filamentous fungi for the management of cereal diseases are discussed. The authors retrace the history of the well-established use of non-aflatoxigenic isolates of Aspergillus flavus to prevent aflatoxin contamination in maize and give an overview of the potential use of competitive beneficial filamentous fungi to manage Fusarium Head Blight on wheat and mitigate fusaria toxin contamination. Although important steps have been made towards the development of microorganisms as active ingredients of plant protection products, a reasoned revision of the registration rules is needed to significantly reduce the chemical based plant protection products in agriculture. Full article
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