development. Diseased grains are shrivelled, discoloured, and lightweight ( Goswami and Kistler, 2004 ). Under favourable conditions, Fusarium species can produce mycotoxins, mainly deoxynivalenol (DON), zearalenone (ZEA), and fumonisins (FUM
, BAL Gumpenstein, 23.-25. Nov. 1999 55–62.
Logrieco, A., Mule, G., Moretti, A., Bottalico, A. 2002. Toxigenic Fusarium species and mycotoxins associated with maize ear rot in Europe. Europ. J. Plant Pathol.
Mycotoxin-producing fungi may contaminate agricultural products in the field (preharvest spoilage), during storage (postharvest spoilage), or during processing. Mycotoxin contamination of foods and feeds poses serious health hazard to animals and humans. For lowering mycotoxin contamination of feeds and foods, several strategies have been investigated that can be divided into biological, chemical and physical methods. This paper gives an overview of strategies which are promising with regard to lowering the mycotoxin burden of animals and humans.
The influence of three milling techniques (MT1: industrial roller-grinder, MT2: grain hammer crasher, and MT3: traditional millstone) and two baking methods (BM1: industrial oven, BM2: traditional ceramic stove heated by wood (log fire oven)) on mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON) and nivalenol (NIV) levels in bread were investigated. The DON and NIV concentrations in wheat grain, flour, and bread were analysed using high performance liquid chromatography with UV-detection methods. The 2 500 kg lot of wheat grain containing 1 400–1 900 μg kg
deoxynivalenol and 130–200 μg kg
nivalenol was divided into sub-lots which were processed to get three types of flour (F1: industrial bread flour, F2: industrial wholegrain flour and F3: traditional wholegrain flour). The concentrations of DON and NIV measured after milling the grain according to MT1 (yielding F1) amounted to 310–370 \g kg
and <50–70 μg kg
, respectively. After applying MT2 to the grain (yielding F2), the DON and NIV levels were measured to be 1 060–1 400 μg kg
and 60–87 μg kg
, respectively. Applying MT3 (yielding F3) produced a DON level of 1 100–1 770 μg kg
1 and a NIV level of 80–95 μg kg
. Six types of bread were baked from the three types of flour according to BM1 or BM2, and the mycotoxin levels were analysed. The average reduction in DON concentration after baking (70 min at 195–235 °C) was 47.2% for bread baked in the industrial oven and 48.7% for bread baked in the log fire oven. Concentrations of DON in bread prepared by the industrial MT1 were under the permitted limit of 500 μg kg
stated in EC (2006) regulation, despite the fact that the bread was baked from grains highly contaminated with mycotoxins. In the bread baked from traditional wholegrain flour, mycotoxin concentrations were higher (850–950 μg kg
Mycotoxins are natural compounds that may cause various adverse toxicological manifestations in humans and animals. The nature, the severity and scope of their adverse activity are varied and in general, even in small amount they have potent carcinogenic, genotoxic effect and injure the immune system. In order to provide high level of health protection for consumers, the European Union has established strict regulatory limits, whose implementation is enforced.The EC (2001) Commission Regulation sets maximum levels for some mycotoxins in foodstuffs: for aflatoxins, ochratoxin A, patulin, deoxynivalenol, zearalenone, fumonisins, T-2 and HT-2 toxins. Particular product categories are regulated under specific decisions ordaining control of imported consignments at the point of entry. Due to the fact that only aflatoxins are addressed in the specific decisions, they are the mostly detected and notified mycotoxins in the EU Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF). The second most frequent group, Ochratoxin A is typically detected during internal EU market controls. Most RASFF notifications concern product categories falling under specific EU decisions, especially the Aflatoxin content of nuts and nut products. Significant amount of aflatoxins can be found also in dried fruits, spices and herbs.The article reviews and analyses the data available in rapid alert system concerning mycotoxins notification, and evaluates the usefulness of this information for risk assessment. The value of RASFF system is unquestionable and it fulfils its intended function included in its name. The system is a significant source of valuable information, but for risk assessment purposes, other additional information is needed. It could be used most effectively for risk assessment, if it was to provide data on the ratio of all/tested/positive lots and if the authorities provided not only the positive results, but also the exact mycotoxins level of every analysed sample.
The objective of the study was to investigate the effects of lignin supplementation of a diet contaminated with the Fusarium mycotoxins deoxynivalenol (DON) and zearalenone (ZEA) on peripheral blood leukocytes and duodenal immunocompetent cells in broiler chickens. From day 1 after hatching, all chickens were fed an identical control diet for two weeks. Then chickens of Group 1 continued to be fed the control diet, whereas Group 2 was fed the same diet supplemented with lignin at 0.5% level. Simultaneously, Group 3 started to receive a diet contaminated with DON (2.95 mg kg−1) and ZEA (1.59 mg kg−1), while Group 4 received an identical contaminated diet supplemented with 0.5% lignin for further two weeks. Samples of blood and duodenal tissue were collected from 6 birds of each group at 4 weeks of age. Neither counts of white blood cells nor phagocytic function in the peripheral blood were significantly affected in the mycotoxin- and/or lignin-treated birds. As compared to the control, increased numbers of IgM-bearing cells were found in the peripheral blood in Group 3 fed the contaminated diet (P < 0.05) and in Group 4 given the contaminated diet supplemented with lignin (P < 0.01). While the contaminated diet led to reduced numbers of duodenal CD4+ cells, in Group 2 treated only with lignin the number of duodenal CD4+ cells was increased. Lignin enrichment of the contaminated diet did not eliminate the mycotoxin-induced reduction in the number of duodenal CD4+ cells. The results suggest that dietary supplementation of lignin as an indigestible compound to poultry feed may increase the density of some intestinal immunocompetent cells without exerting effects on that in the peripheral blood. However, when added to a diet contaminated with Fusarium mycotoxins, lignin did not prevent the mycotoxin-induced changes in the numbers of blood and intestinal immunocompetent cells.
Introduction The detection of fungal infections is of great importance in food science since one of the most serious problems of food safety is the presence of mycotoxins produced by microscopic fungi. Molds can grow on many kinds of substrates