Submitted to: Brazilian Conference on Mycotoxins Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: December 22, 1999
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Some fungi produce toxic compounds called mycotoxins when they grow on foods and feeds. The toxins occur all over the world and research is being conducted to reduce the contamination in foods and feeds. The toxins can be very harmful to human and animal health, and can cause cancer by their effects on the liver and kidneys. Physical, chemical and biological processes are being studied to find ways to inactivate, remove or destroy mycotoxins found in foods and feeds. The best control method is to prevent contamination by using good management practices when growing the crops that feed us and our livestock.
Technical Abstract: Mycotoxins receive increasing worldwide attention as awareness of them as contaminants in our food and feed sources generates additional research and revised tolerance levels. The primary target organ for aflatoxins and fumonisins is the liver, but for ochratoxins the kidneys are greatly affected. Control strategies for mycotoxins include physical separation of contaminated feed fractions, microbial and chemical inactivation, and the use of binding agents that absorb and form complexes with mycotoxins. The best way to reduce toxin contamination is by prevention during production and storage of feed grains through effective management strategies.