Research -Mycotoxin Contamination of Rice in China

MouldWIley Online

Mycotoxin contamination in rice is generally lower than in other cereals such as corn or wheat. However, over 65% of the population in China consumes rice as a staple food. Due to the diversity of the climate across China, the southern region is characterized by high temperatures and humidities, especially in rainy season. Such conditions are optimal for the growth of fungi. The accumulative and transferrable characteristics of fungi mycotoxins pose a great potential threat as confirmed by high incidences of liver cancer in the Yangtze delta region. Major mycotoxins identified in China are aflatoxins and ochratoxin A, as well as fumonisins. The contents of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) in rice are varied among different provinces and regions and generally less than 5 μg/kg. Although high incidences of positive aflatoxins samples have widely been detected, few samples were detected as exceeding the national’s maximum residue limit (10 μg/kg). Limited information is available on risk assessment of human health hazards of mycotoxins in rice, children should be paid more attention to due to their having the highest mycotoxins exposure level, although the risks are generally at low levels from rice. Mycotoxins are mainly distributed in the outer layer of the paddy rice (also called rough rice, referring to whole rice grain with the hulls), and the AFB1 content in bran is 8.4 times greater than that in brown rice (hulled rice). Further investigation should focus on isolation and identification of mycotoxins-producing fungal strains, especially unknown mycotoxigenic fungal strains determination. Infection resistant rice breeding of mycotoxigenic fungal species may be a fundamental approach to guaranteeing rice safety in China

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