Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites produced by fungi that contaminate raw materials such as cereals, fruits, dried fruits, coffee, and grapes when they have been produced or maintained in a temperature and/or humidity conditions that favour fungi growth. In general, mycotoxins are very resistant to temperature and remain stable during food preparation and processing .Therefore, food prepared from contaminated raw materials can retain the levels of these compounds.Several beverages are produced based on raw materials prone to be contaminated, such as beer from cereals, wine from grapes, coffee, and more. Moreover, and due to the fact that one fungal speciescan produce various of these metabolites , the most likely scenario is the co-occurrence of several mycotoxins in one food product.
Mycotoxins have different toxic effects on human health. They can be divided into acute effects,due to the ingestion of high levels of toxins in a short time period, and into chronic effects, due to the ingestion of low quantities for a long time. These chronic effects are the most common ones and they have been described as hepatotoxicity, immune diseases, carcinogenicity, genotoxicity, endocrine andreproductive effects, mutagenicity, teratogenicity, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, among others .All the above make the presence of these compounds in human foods a global problem regarding food safety and also regarding economics, due to the loss of lots of contaminated raw materials or food products and its impact on global trade .In order to protect human health, legislative organisms promote the monitorization of these toxins in raw materials and foods, along with the regulation of maximum levels that can be present in some food products.
This Special Issue “Mycotoxins in Beverages” comprises three research articles and three reviews related to the presence of these toxins in beverages and covers different aspects. The research articles are devoted to the presence of mycotoxins in beer and milk. The reviews collect, on the one hand,information regarding mycotoxin presence in wine and in beverages obtained from tropical crops, and,on the other, new approaches for detecting ochratoxin A and other compounds in beverages.