Abstract

The occurrence of toxigenic molds and mycotoxin formation can be a problem in the Mediterranean basin. Nuts and dried fruits, the major commodities produced and traded in the basin, may be contaminated with aflatoxins and ochratoxin A. The nuts most at risk for afla-toxin formation are peanuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, walnuts and pine nuts. The major Mediterranean dried fruits susceptible to aflatoxin contamination are figs, raisins and red peppers while ochratoxin A has been identified in figs and raisins. In the EU Mediterranean countries detailed, harmonized regulations exist for most mycotoxins. Some countries apply different limits for aflatoxins (range 1-15 ng/g for aflatoxin Bi) in certain products and there is a need for more specific and harmonized regulations. To control mycotoxin contamination, precautionary measures taken during the pre- and postharvest periods: GAP, GHP, GSP, GMP and HACCP, sharing information, and a collective effort by all interested parties is needed.

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