General Consideration

Invasion by fungi and production of mycotoxins in commodities can occur under favorable conditions in the field (preharvest), at harvest, and during processing, transportation and storage (Bhatnagar et al. 2002). Fungi that are frequently found in the field include A. flavus, Alternaría longipes, A. alternata, Claviceps purpura, Fusarium verti-cíllíoídes (previously called monílíforme), F. gramínearum, and a number of other Fusarium spp. Species most likely introduced at harvest include F. sporotrichioides, Stachy-botrys atra, Cladosporium sp., Myrothecium verrucaria, Trichothecium roseum, as well as A. alternata. Most penicillia are storage fungi. These include Penicillium citrinum, P. cyclopium, P. citreoviride, P. islandicum, P. rubrum, P. viridicatum, P. urticae, P. verruculosum, P. palitans, P. puberulum, P. expansum, and P. roqueforti, all of which are capable of producing mycotoxins in grains and foods. Other toxicogenic storage fungi are: A. parasiticus, A. flavus, A. versicolor, A. ochraceus, A. clavatus, A. fumigatus, A. rubrum, A. chevallieri, F. verticillioides, F. tricinctum, F. nivale, and several other Fusarium spp. It is apparent, most of the mycotoxin-producing fungi belong to three genera: Aspergillus, Fusarium, and Penicillium. However, not all species in these genera are toxicogenic.

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