Ecological conditions affecting mycotoxin production in cereals: a review

https://doi.org/10.17221/6979-VETMEDCitation:Milani J. (2013): Ecological conditions affecting mycotoxin production in cereals: a review. Veterinarni Medicina, 58: 405-411.
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Spoilage fungi are ubiquitous contaminants of cereals, pre- and post-harvest. These fungi can produce a wide range of secondary metabolites under ecological conditions which are conducive for growth. However, some of these secondary metabolites are toxic and have a significant impact if they enter the production and animal food chains. Prevention of mycotoxin contamination of feed and food raw materials is now considered more important than subsequent cure. The key ecological determinants pre- and post-harvest are water availability and temperature (climate). Accurate information is therefore needed on the impact of an association between these key factors, and it is necessary to understand which are marginal and which critical for germination and toxin production. There have only been a few studies where attempts have been made to integrate the available information on these factors in relation to different raw materials for feed and food processing, especially cereals. This review will examine the available information on the main climatic factors, i.e., water availability and temperature affecting mycotoxin production such as, aflatoxins, ochratoxins, fumonisins, zearalenone, deoxynivalenol and citrinin. This information is crucial for accurately focusing and monitoring key critical control points in the feed and food chain to optimise prevention strategies.  
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