Special Issue "Occurrence, Toxicity and Mitigation of Aflatoxins"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Jean-Denis Bailly
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Toxalim (Research Center in Food Toxicology), Université de Toulouse, INRAe, ENVT, INP-Purpan, UPS, 31027 Toulouse, France
Interests: mycology; the comprehension of biotic and abiotic mechanisms leading to mycotoxin production; strategies that can be used to limit food contamination; identification of natural compounds able to specifically block toxin production; identification of natural compounds that could be used as alternatives to pesticides in the development of sustainable strategies to improve food safety; the emergence of new mycotoxins (Aflatoxin B1, stachybotriotoxins) in Europe due to climate change
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Among the hundreds of known mycotoxins, aflatoxins are probably the most important due to their toxic effects (carcinogenic in humans), their wide and increasing distribution subsequent to climate changes, and their economic consequences (withdrawal of food batches due to international regulations).

The toxicity of these contaminants (carcinogenic, mutagenic, toxic to the immune system) requires that consumer exposure be limited as much as is achievable. However, the implementation of relevant risk management measures is based on occurrence data to identify which foods can be contaminated, at what levels, and in which conditions. The knowledge of the possible effects according to the level of exposure is also a key, especially when such contaminants co-occur with other mycotoxins and/or other foodborne contaminants or pathogens that may modify their initial toxicity or already known dose–effect relationships due to synergistic or antagonistic effects. Finally, it is of great importance to identify ways to protect consumers from these food contaminants by limiting the contamination. Indeed, as for all mycotoxins, climate is a key parameter in aflatoxin synthesis and unfortunately, it is becoming increasingly less predictable. In contrast, favorable conditions for aflatoxins synthesis are appearing in regions that used to be considered as free of them. Therefore, it is of major importance to identify new strategies to limit the synthesis of these contaminants by using sustainable and eco-friendly approaches.

The focus of this Special Issue of Toxins will be on collecting data on the occurrence of aflatoxins in foods and feeds, new data on their toxicity (especially when co-occurring with other pathogens or contaminants), and ways to mitigate these contaminants by limiting contamination.

Prof. Jean-Denis Bailly
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 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

  • aflatoxins
  • toxicity
  • multi-contamination
  • occurrence
  • foods
  • mitigation

Published Papers (8 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Article
Mimosa tenuiflora Aqueous Extract: Role of Condensed Tannins in Anti-Aflatoxin B1 Activity in Aspergillus flavus
Toxins 2021, 13(6), 391; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins13060391 - 29 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1074
Abstract
Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is a potent carcinogenic mycotoxin that contaminates numerous crops pre- and post-harvest. To protect foods and feeds from such toxins without resorting to pesticides, the use of plant extracts has been increasingly studied. The most interesting candidate plants are those [...] Read more.
Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is a potent carcinogenic mycotoxin that contaminates numerous crops pre- and post-harvest. To protect foods and feeds from such toxins without resorting to pesticides, the use of plant extracts has been increasingly studied. The most interesting candidate plants are those with strong antioxidative activity because oxidation reactions may interfere with AFB1 production. The present study investigates how an aqueous extract of Mimosa tenuiflora bark affects both the growth of Aspergillus flavus and AFB1 production. The results reveal a dose-dependent inhibition of toxin synthesis with no impact on fungal growth. AFB1 inhibition is related to a down-modulation of the cluster genes of the biosynthetic pathway and especially to the two internal regulators aflR and aflS. Its strong anti-oxidative activity also allows the aqueous extract to modulate the expression of genes involved in fungal oxidative-stress response, such as msnA, mtfA, atfA, or sod1. Finally, a bio-guided fractionation of the aqueous extract demonstrates that condensed tannins play a major role in the anti-aflatoxin activity of Mimosa tenuiflora bark. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occurrence, Toxicity and Mitigation of Aflatoxins)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Effectiveness of Training and Use of Novasil Binder in Mitigating Aflatoxins in Cow Milk Produced in Smallholder Farms in Urban and Periurban Areas of Kenya
Toxins 2021, 13(4), 281; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins13040281 - 15 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 616
Abstract
Aflatoxins, which commonly contaminate animal feeds and human food, present a major public health challenge in sub-Saharan Africa. After ingestion by cows, aflatoxin B1 is metabolized to aflatoxin M1 (AFM1), some of which is excreted in milk. This study involved smallholder dairy farms [...] Read more.
Aflatoxins, which commonly contaminate animal feeds and human food, present a major public health challenge in sub-Saharan Africa. After ingestion by cows, aflatoxin B1 is metabolized to aflatoxin M1 (AFM1), some of which is excreted in milk. This study involved smallholder dairy farms in urban and periurban areas of Nairobi and Kisumu, Kenya. The objective was to determine the effectiveness of training and providing farmers with aflatoxin binder (NovaSil®) on AFM1 contamination in raw milk. A baseline survey was undertaken and 30 farmers whose milk had AFM1 levels above 20 ppt were randomly selected for inclusion in the study. Of these, 20 farmers were part of the intervention, and were given training on the usage of the NovaSil® binder, while 10 served as a control group. All farmers were visited biweekly for three months for interviews and milk samples were collected to measure the AFM1 levels. The AFM1 levels were quantified by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay. The NovaSil® binder significantly reduced AFM1 concentrations in the raw milk produced by the farmers in the intervention group over the duration of the study (p < 0.01). The control farms were more likely to have milk with AFM1 levels exceeding the regulatory limit of 50 ppt compared to the intervention farms (p < 0.001) (odds ratio = 6.5). The farmers in the intervention group perceived that there was an improvement in milk yield, and in cow health and appetite. These farmers also felt that the milk they sold, as well as the one they used at home, was safer. In conclusion, the use of binders by dairy farmers can be effective in reducing AFM1 in milk. Further research is needed to understand their effectiveness, especially when used in smallholder settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occurrence, Toxicity and Mitigation of Aflatoxins)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Analysis of E.U. Rapid Alert System (RASFF) Notifications for Aflatoxins in Exported U.S. Food and Feed Products for 2010–2019
Toxins 2021, 13(2), 90; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins13020090 - 26 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1020
Abstract
The most common, toxic, and carcinogenic mycotoxins found in human food and animal feed are the aflatoxins (AFs). The United States is a leading exporter of various nuts, with a marketing value of $9.1 billion in 2019; the European Union countries are the [...] Read more.
The most common, toxic, and carcinogenic mycotoxins found in human food and animal feed are the aflatoxins (AFs). The United States is a leading exporter of various nuts, with a marketing value of $9.1 billion in 2019; the European Union countries are the major importers of U.S. nuts. In the past few years, border rejections and notifications for U.S. tree nuts and peanuts exported to the E.U. countries have increased due to AF contamination. In this work, we analyzed notifications from the “Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF)” on U.S. food and feed products contaminated with mycotoxins, primarily AFs, for the 10-year period 2010–2019. Almost 95% of U.S. mycotoxin RASFF notifications were reported for foods and only 5% for feeds. We found that 98.9% of the U.S. food notifications on mycotoxins were due to the AF contamination in almond, peanut, and pistachio nuts. Over half of these notifications (57.9%) were due to total AF levels greater than the FDA action level in food of 20 ng g−1. The Netherlands issued 27% of the AF notifications for U.S. nuts. Border rejection was reported for more than 78% of AF notifications in U.S. nuts. All U.S. feed notifications on mycotoxins occurred due to the AF contamination. Our research contributes to better understanding the main reasons behind RASFF mycotoxins notifications of U.S. food and feed products destined to E.U. countries. Furthermore, we speculate possible causes of this problem and provide a potential solution that could minimize the number of notifications for U.S. agricultural export market. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occurrence, Toxicity and Mitigation of Aflatoxins)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
The Efficacy of Composite Essential Oils against Aflatoxigenic Fungus Aspergillus flavus in Maize
Toxins 2020, 12(9), 562; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12090562 - 01 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 945
Abstract
The efficacy of eleven essential oils (EOs) against Aspergillus flavus NRRL 3357 was investigated. The highest antifungal activity against this aflatoxigenic fungus was exhibited by cinnamon, oregano and lemongrass, which showed low minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values under vapor conditions. Interactions of the [...] Read more.
The efficacy of eleven essential oils (EOs) against Aspergillus flavus NRRL 3357 was investigated. The highest antifungal activity against this aflatoxigenic fungus was exhibited by cinnamon, oregano and lemongrass, which showed low minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values under vapor conditions. Interactions of the three EOs were evaluated by the fractional inhibition concentration index (FICI), and the composite essential oils (CEO) showed synergistic inhibitory activities. Chemical analysis of the composite essential oils of cinnamon, oregano, and lemongrass (COL-CEO) revealed that (Z)-citral (33.44%), (E)-citral (32.88%) and carvacrol (19.84%) were the dominant components, followed by limonene (4.29%) and cinnamaldehyde (3.76%). COL-CEO not only inhibited fungal growth but also decreased aflatoxin B1 production by A. flavus. Downregulation of the relative expression of aflatoxin genes in the aflatoxin biosynthetic pathway by COL-CEO revealed its anti-aflatoxigenic mechanism. COL-CEO could also affect the colonization of A. flavus on maize grains. Therefore, COL-CEO may be considered as a potential natural antifungal agent, which could be used for the storage of maize and other grains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occurrence, Toxicity and Mitigation of Aflatoxins)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Determination of Aflatoxin M1 in Raw Milk from Different Provinces of Ecuador
Toxins 2020, 12(8), 498; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12080498 - 03 Aug 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1814
Abstract
Aflatoxin M1 (AFM1) is a mycotoxin from Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus, classified as carcinogenic and hepatotoxic. The objective of the present investigation was to determine its presence in raw milk from north-central Ecuador, constituted by the provinces of Pichincha, Manabí, and [...] Read more.
Aflatoxin M1 (AFM1) is a mycotoxin from Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus, classified as carcinogenic and hepatotoxic. The objective of the present investigation was to determine its presence in raw milk from north-central Ecuador, constituted by the provinces of Pichincha, Manabí, and Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas. These areas represent approximately 30% of Ecuadorian milk production. By the end of the investigation, a total of 209 raw milk samples were collected, obtained both during the dry (June and August) and rainy seasons (April and November) of 2019. AFM1 concentrations were measured with lateral flow immunochromatographic assays, and 100% of the samples were positive for this mycotoxin, presenting a mean value of 0.0774 μg/kg with a range of 0.023 to 0.751 μg/kg. These AFM1 levels exceeded the European Union regulatory limit of 0.05 μg/kg in 59.3% (124/209) of samples, while only 1.9% (4/209) exceeded the Ecuadorian legal limit of 0.5 μg/kg. By using non-parametric tests, significant differences were determined (p ≤ 0.05) between the provinces for months of study, climatic season (being higher in the dry season), and climatic region (greater in the coast region). On the other hand, there were no significant differences (p ≥ 0.05) between the types of producers or between production systems. Therefore, AFM1 contamination in raw milk does not present a serious public health problem in Ecuador, but a monitoring and surveillance program for this mycotoxin in milk should be developed to prevent consumer health problems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occurrence, Toxicity and Mitigation of Aflatoxins)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research

Review
Distribution of Aspergillus Fungi and Recent Aflatoxin Reports, Health Risks, and Advances in Developments of Biological Mitigation Strategies in China
Toxins 2021, 13(10), 678; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins13100678 - 24 Sep 2021
Viewed by 333
Abstract
Aflatoxins (AFs) are secondary metabolites that represent serious threats to human and animal health. They are mainly produced by strains of the saprophytic fungus Aspergillus flavus, which are abundantly distributed across agricultural commodities. AF contamination is receiving increasing attention by researchers, food [...] Read more.
Aflatoxins (AFs) are secondary metabolites that represent serious threats to human and animal health. They are mainly produced by strains of the saprophytic fungus Aspergillus flavus, which are abundantly distributed across agricultural commodities. AF contamination is receiving increasing attention by researchers, food producers, and policy makers in China, and several interesting review papers have been published, that mainly focused on occurrences of AFs in agricultural commodities in China. The goal of this review is to provide a wider scale and up-to-date overview of AF occurrences in different agricultural products and of the distribution of A. flavus across different food and feed categories and in Chinese traditional herbal medicines in China, for the period 2000–2020. We also highlight the health impacts of chronic dietary AF exposure, the recent advances in biological AF mitigation strategies in China, and recent Chinese AF standards. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occurrence, Toxicity and Mitigation of Aflatoxins)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Aflatoxins: History, Significant Milestones, Recent Data on Their Toxicity and Ways to Mitigation
Toxins 2021, 13(6), 399; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins13060399 - 03 Jun 2021
Viewed by 995
Abstract
In the early 1960s the discovery of aflatoxins began when a total of 100,000 turkey poults died by hitherto unknown turkey “X” disease in England. The disease was associated with Brazilian groundnut meal affected by Aspergillus flavus. The toxin was named Aspergillus [...] Read more.
In the early 1960s the discovery of aflatoxins began when a total of 100,000 turkey poults died by hitherto unknown turkey “X” disease in England. The disease was associated with Brazilian groundnut meal affected by Aspergillus flavus. The toxin was named Aspergillus flavus toxin—aflatoxin. From the point of view of agriculture, aflatoxins show the utmost importance. Until now, a total of 20 aflatoxins have been described, with B1, B2, G1, and G2 aflatoxins being the most significant. Contamination by aflatoxins is a global health problem. Aflatoxins pose acutely toxic, teratogenic, immunosuppressive, carcinogenic, and teratogenic effects. Besides food insecurity and human health, aflatoxins affect humanity at different levels, such as social, economical, and political. Great emphasis is placed on aflatoxin mitigation using biocontrol methods. Thus, this review is focused on aflatoxins in terms of historical development, the principal milestones of aflatoxin research, and recent data on their toxicity and different ways of mitigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occurrence, Toxicity and Mitigation of Aflatoxins)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Aflatoxin Detoxification Using Microorganisms and Enzymes
Toxins 2021, 13(1), 46; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins13010046 - 09 Jan 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1275
Abstract
Mycotoxin contamination causes significant economic loss to food and feed industries and seriously threatens human health. Aflatoxins (AFs) are one of the most harmful mycotoxins, which are produced by Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus parasiticus, and other fungi that are commonly found in [...] Read more.
Mycotoxin contamination causes significant economic loss to food and feed industries and seriously threatens human health. Aflatoxins (AFs) are one of the most harmful mycotoxins, which are produced by Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus parasiticus, and other fungi that are commonly found in the production and preservation of grain and feed. AFs can cause harm to animal and human health due to their toxic (carcinogenic, teratogenic, and mutagenic) effects. How to remove AF has become a major problem: biological methods cause no contamination, have high specificity, and work at high temperature, affording environmental protection. In the present research, microorganisms with detoxification effects researched in recent years are reviewed, the detoxification mechanism of microbes on AFs, the safety of degrading enzymes and reaction products formed in the degradation process, and the application of microorganisms as detoxification strategies for AFs were investigated. One of the main aims of the work is to provide a reliable reference strategy for biological detoxification of AFs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occurrence, Toxicity and Mitigation of Aflatoxins)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop