Farbo, Maria Grazia (2018) Approcci eco-sostenibili per il controllo della contaminazione di ocratossina in alimenti destinati al consumo umano e animale. Doctoral Thesis.
Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites produced by some filamentous fungi under certain conditions. The most important fungal genera producing mycotoxins that are found in food products are Aspergillus, Fusarium, Alternaria, and Penicillium. Ochratoxin A (OTA) has hepatotoxic, teratogenic, nephrotoxic and carcinogenic effect in mammals and it is classified as a group 2B carcinogen by the World Health Organization. The European Union has set the maximum OTA level at 2 μg/kg in wine, grape juice, and at 3 μg/kg for all products derived from cereal, including cereal products and cereal grains for human consumption. Some species of Aspergillus are the main source of OTA in warm and tropical regions, and in particular, Aspergillus carbonarius (Bainier) Thom is considered one of the most relevant OTA producers in food and feed. Hence, there is a need to develop alternative methods for pathogenic fungi and food contaminant control that will either individually or synergistically eradicate the OTA-producing fungi, by preventing mycotoxin biosynthesis, inactivating mycotoxins, or breaking them down into less or non-toxic compounds. Inhibiting the growth of OTA-producing fungi on sensitive commodities is by far the most reliable method to prevent OTA contamination of food and feed. Moreover, yeasts antagonists were evaluated able to reduce the spread of ochratoxin-producing fungi, as well as to represent the basis for biological tools to remove traces of mycotoxin from food and feed.
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