Category Archives: Aspergillus

Research – Antifungal action of quaternary ammonium compounds against environmental molds isolated from food industries

Wiley Online

CDC Mould


Molds are ubiquitously found microorganisms that are usually present as contaminants in food industrial environments. It has been shown that Cladosporium and Aspergillus genera are two of the most abundant and widely distributed in these locations because they are highly resistant species to sanitizing treatments. Hence, the search of antimicrobial compounds that are effective to these types of fungal contamination becomes relevant. The aim of this report was to evaluate the antifungal capacity of two commercial preparations made both with benzalkonium chloride (a first generation QAC) alone and with the addition of glutaraldehyde at different concentrations and contact times. A suspension-neutralization test was performed employing spores of five strains of both Aspergillus section Nigri and Cladosporium cladosporioides, all isolated from food industries environments. Results have shown that benzalkonium chloride preparation was successful in destroying Cladosporium spores at 5% (v/v) concentration (average 4D value of 9.1 min) but failed in neutralizing Aspergillus propagules at the same conditions. On the other hand, the commercial mixture made of benzalkonium chloride and glutaraldehyde was effective in the inactivation of all food spoilage fungi spores at 1% (v/v) concentration (average 4D value of 1.8 and 8.8 min for Cladosporium and Aspergillus strains, respectively).

Research – Microbial Diversity and Safety in Fermented Beverages


For thousands of years, humans have exploited the natural process of fermentation of various foods to preserve them, and to enjoy the changes in the sensory characteristics that could be produced. Recently, the world of fermented beverages has gone through a rapid transformation linked to deep changes in consumer preferences, consumption habits, climate, new regulations and entry of emerging countries, accompanied by safety concerns and an important reduction in economic resources available to people. As with all food handling and preparation, we need to be sure the fermented food produced is safe. Fermentation is a complex biological process where microbial diversity takes place and the environment created inside of the fermented food provides the conditions to reduce the risk of pathogenic bacteria growth, thus providing safe food. In addition, food manufacturers fermenting food carefully control their processing and must comply with the National Food Standards Codes. Although these products have a generally good food safety record, sometimes inadequate manufacturing practices or the presence of acidophilic pathogens could compromise food safety. In fact, fermented beverages may adversely become contaminated with pathogens or microbial toxins and thereby transform into vehicles that can transmit diseases to the consumers. Moreover, many microorganisms can deteriorate the physical-chemical and sensory properties as well as the flavor of the final products. In this editorial, we present an overview of a review and six original research papers published in the Special Issue “Fermentation Process and Microbial Safety of Beverages” of the Beverages journal.

Research – Aflatoxin Reduction and Retardation of Aflatoxin Production by Microorganisms in Doenjang during a One-Year Fermentation


Meju, a raw material for doenjang preparation, is highly vulnerable to aflatoxin-producing fungi. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a one-year fermentation on aflatoxins and aflatoxin-producing fungi in doenjang spiked with aflatoxins B1, G1, B2, and G2 and inoculated with toxigenic Aspergillus flavus. A significant reduction in aflatoxins was observed after a year of fermentation, measuring 92.58%, 100%, 98.69%, and 100% of B1, G1, B2, and G2, respectively. After a year of fermentation, 6.95 ± 3.64 µg/kg of total aflatoxin was detected, which represents a 97.88% reduction in the total aflatoxin compared with the initial value (328.83 ± 36.60 µg/kg). Several aflatoxin-degrading fungi (Aspergillus versicolorCladosporium subcinereumAspergillus ochraceus) and bacteria (Bacillus albusBacillus velezensis) isolated from doenjang were identified as the major contributors to the reduction of aflatoxin. Furthermore, it was observed that most of the aflatoxin contamination in doenjang occurred during the meju stage, and this stage was found to be most susceptible to A. flavus contamination and growth. These findings reveal that native microorganisms mediate aflatoxin clean-up in doenjang during fermentation and support the use of such microorganisms as a starter culture for the preparation of aflatoxin-free doenjang.

Research – How do Time, Tannin and Moisture Content Influence on Toxicogenic Fungal Populations during the Storage of Sorghum Grains?

Journal of Food Protection

Cereal grains are usually ensiled to improve their nutritional value and are one of the main sources of feed for dairy cattle. However, during storage, grains can be contaminated with toxicogenic fungi. Sorghum is one of the most economically important cereals in the world. Therefore, the aim of this work was to evaluate the influence of storage duration and tannin and moisture contents on toxicogenic fungal populations in sorghum grain storage. Samples were prepared with variety high in tannins (genotypes Morgan 108 and ACA 558, >5g/kg DM) and with variety low tannin content (genotypes Flash 10 and ACA 546, <1g/kg DM) were collected and manually compacted in experimental laboratory silos where they received different moisture content treatments, namely low (15-25%), medium (26-32%) and high (33-42%). Freshly harvest grains were analyzed at time 0 and storage grains were analyzed at different times (30, 90 and 180 days). Fungal isolation and identification were performed following conventional mycological methods. Penicillium citrinum (34%), Aspergillus flavus (60%) and Fusarium nygamai (68%) were the most abundant species. Rapid detection of aflatoxins and fumonisins in each sample was performed by ELISA according to the AOAC method, and the quantification of aflatoxin B 1 was performed by HPLC. Aflatoxins were detected in four samples with levels of 6.7-28.8 µg/kg and aflatoxin B 1 with a level of 2-14 µg/kg in pre- and post-storage grains . Fumonisins were only detected in two freshly harvested samples with levels of 500-900 µg/kg . In general, the storage time favored the increase of Penicillium population, instead the Aspergillus and Fusarium are reduced. Conversely the abundance of the three population was not affected by the moisture content. The results of this study show that fungal population must be analyzed at different times.

USA – Salmonella, Mold/Mould prompt recall of Marijuana Syrups and Distallates

Food Safety News


Image CDC

Public health officials in Arizona are reporting a recall of several marijuana products after testing found Salmonella and Aspergillus mold. The Arizona Department of Health Services reports that the recall includes edible products in the forms of honey-like syrup and distallates.

Several unidentified dispensaries and other unspecified marijuana-related businesses initiated the recall. Consumers who bought the products listed below are being advised to throw them away.

Although no illnesses or reactions have been confirmed as of the posting of the recall notice, Salmonella can cause serious infections and Aspergillus can cause life-threatening reactions in people who have certain mold allergies.

USA – Arizona: Marijuana products recalled due to possible contamination with Salmonella or Aspergillus fungus

Outbreak News Today

Arizona state health officials announced Wednesday that multiple Arizona marijuana establishments and dispensaries are initiating a voluntary recall of specific marijuana products due to possible contamination with Salmonella or Aspergillus.

To date, no illnesses have been reported. This announcement is being made out of an abundance of caution. Patients who have purchased potentially contaminated products should not ingest, inhale, or otherwise consume them and should dispose of them. If you have already consumed any of the products and have any of the symptoms described below, please contact your healthcare provider or seek emergency care in the event of an emergency.

The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) is advising purchasers to dispose of the products in the link aboe, which were found in laboratory tests to be positive for Salmonella or Aspergillus:

Belgium – Basmati rice sachet (1kg) – Ochratoxin A – Basmati Rice


Recall of Carrefour
Product: Basmati rice sachet (1kg).
Problem: too high Ochratoxin A content in Basmati Rice.

Brussels, 04-03-2021 – Following a control and in order to guarantee the safety of the consumer, the SOUFFLET company asks to withdraw from the trade the “basmati rice” of the Carrefour brand (1kg) sold in the GROCERY department of certain Carrefour stores in Belgium. This product is also being recalled from consumers.

BASMATI RICE of the Carrefour brand
“Naturally flavored”
Conditioned by EMB 59606B
Product: Basmati rice sachet (1kg)
EAN: 3560070837984
Expiration date (DDM): 21/11/2022

Ochratoxin A is a mycotoxin produced by several microscopic fungi
(genera Penicillium and Aspergillus) and is naturally present in many
plant products around the world, such as cereals, coffee beans, cocoa and
dried fruits.

Only a large quantity of contaminated products can lead to health

All products have been withdrawn from sale. Some of these products were however marketed on the Belgian market before the withdrawal measure. It is therefore recommended that people who hold the products described above do not consume them and destroy them or return them to the point of sale where they will be reimbursed.

For any further information, you can contact the Carrefour Belgium consumer service by dialing the free number 0800.9.10.11 , from 8:30 am to 8:00 pm, Monday to Saturday.

The SOUFFLET company apologizes to Carrefour customers for the inconvenience caused.

USA – FDA reports more than 100 pet deaths nationwide linked to recalled pet food

Food Safety News

The Food and Drug Administration has updated the number of pet deaths to 110 in connection to fatal levels of aflatoxin in Midwestern Pet Foods Inc.’s recalled dog and cat food products. In addition to the deaths there are more than 210 pets that are sick after eating Sportmix pet food.

The update comes after multiple Midwestern Pet Foods Inc.’s recalls of dog and cat food products after tests showed levels of aflatoxin that exceed acceptable limits. The pet deaths are associated with lots of Sportmix High Energy. No human illnesses have been reported.

Evansville, IN-based Midwestern Pet Foods Inc. expanded their initial product recall on Jan. 11 to include all pet foods containing corn and manufactured in the company’s Oklahoma plant, and having an expiration date on or before July 9, 2022.

The recalled pet foods were distributed nationally to online distributors and retail stores.

Iceland – Mold poison in Sportmix cat food -Mycotoxin -Aflatoxin


Matvælastofnun warns against  Sportmix original cat food cat food  from  Midwestern pet food  in 6.8 kg bags due to aflatoxin mold toxin. The company Pak ehf. has recalled the feed with the help of the Food Administration. The feed was taken from online sales at the end of December and buyers were contacted. 

The recall only applies to the following batches:

  • Product name: Sportmix original cat food
  • Weight: 6.8 kg (15 lbs)
  • Manufacturer: Midwestern pet foods
  • Batch number: All dates before or 07.09.22 / batch number 07092021L3 05
  • Country of manufacture: United States
  • Importer: Pak ehf., Strandgata 32, 220 Hafnarfjörður
  • Distribution:

Sportsmix cat food

Parties who own this feed are advised to return it to PAK ehf., Melabraut 19, 220 Hafnarfjörður or call 517 8119.

Aflatoxin is a poison produced by the fungus Aspergillus flavus  which can grow on maize and other grains used in pet food. If the poison is high in the product, it can cause illness or even death.

Spain – Mycotoxin update on the Hazard Map


In the Hazard Map database, we have updated all the sheets corresponding to the mycotoxins of the chemical hazards block:

  • Aflatoxins
  • Ochratoxins
  • Zearalenone
  • Deoxynivalenol
  • Fumonisins
  • Trichothecenes T-2 and HT2
  • Patulin

Mycotoxins are products of fungal metabolism and their ingestion, inhalation or skin absorption can cause disease or death in animals and people. The most important mycotoxins are produced by molds of the genera Aspergillus , Penicillium and Fusarium .

Among the most common mycotoxins are aflatoxins, ochratoxin A, patulin, fumonisins, zearanelone, deoxynivalenol, and T-2 and HT-2 toxins.