Category Archives: Fusarium Toxin

Spain – Enniatins, mycotoxins of emerging interest


Molecular structure of enniatins

Origin and chemical structure

Enniatins (ENN) are a group of emerging mycotoxins produced by species of the genus Fusarium. They have a cyclic hexadepsipeptide structure that has three d-2 hydrocarboxylic amino acids and three N-methylamino amino acids linked alternately.

Enniatins have been found predominantly in cereal grains, such as barley, corn, oats, wheat, and rice, but they have also been found in nuts, dried fruit, bananas, Chinese medicinal herbs, and river water. Up to 29 natural analogs of enniatins are known, but only seven (A, A1, A2, B, B1, B2 and B3) have been detected in cereals and their derivatives, and enniatins A, A1, B and B1 are the findings most frequently in food and feed.

Table Functional groups that occupy the R positions in the figure and that determine enniatin.

Enniatina R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6
TO sec -butyl sec -butyl sec -butyl CH3 CH3 CH3
A1 iso- propyl sec -butyl sec -butyl CH3 CH3 CH3
A2 iso- propyl sec -butyl iso- propyl CH3 CH3 CH3
B iso- propyl iso- propyl iso- propyl CH3 CH3 CH3
B1 iso- propyl iso- propyl sec -butyl CH3 CH3 CH3
B2 iso- propyl iso- propyl iso- propyl H CH3 CH3
B3 iso- propyl iso- propyl iso- propyl H H CH3
B4 iso- propyl iso- propyl iso -butyl CH3 CH3 CH3
Beauvericin benzyl benzyl benzyl CH3 CH3 CH3

Since they originate from the same fungal species, enniatins are found concomitantly in food with other Fusarium mycotoxins , such as deoxynivalenol, moniliformin and fumonisins, and especially with beauvericin, another mycotoxin of emerging interest, since, in addition, it also shares the hexadipepsidic structure. This coincidence of origin and structural means that beauvericin is grouped analytically and toxicologically with the enniatins. Furthermore, analytical data show a high concomitance between enniatins and beauvericin in cereal grains.

RASFF Alert – Mycotoxin – Fumonsin – White Maize Flour

European Food Alerts


fumonisins (1642 µg/kg – ppb) in white maize flour from Kosovo in Switzerland

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.

RASFF Alert – Mycotoxin – DON – Popcorn

European Food Alerts


deoxynivalenol (DON) (2174 µg/kg – ppb) in popcorn from Hungary, packaged in Poland in Poland

Ireland – Recall of a Batch of Makar Bakalie Popcorn Due to Elevated Deoxynivalenol (DON) – Mycotoxin


Thursday, 7 January 2021

Category 2: For Information
Alert Notification: 2021.02
Product: Makar Bakalie Popcorn ziarno kukurydzy do prazenia; pack size: 100g
Batch Code: 6447 2710; best before: 01/09/2021
Country Of Origin: Hungary


A batch of Makar Bakalie Popcorn is being recalled as it contains Deoxynivalenol (DON) in excess of the legal limit. Deoxynivalenol (DON) is a mycotoxin primarily produced by Fusarium fungi, occurring predominantly in cereal grains. Short-term (acute) exposure to high levels of DON has been reported to cause symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, headaches, dizziness and fever in humans. Evidence of adverse health effects in humans due to long-term (chronic) exposure to DON is lacking, however, adverse effects such as reduced body weight gain have been observed in animal studies. The levels of DON detected exceed the maximum legal limit, however, health concerns are not expected from consuming the implicated batch.

Makar Popcorn

India – FSSAI issues new manual for analysing aflatoxin in food

FNB News

The apex food regulator, FSSAI, has issued a revised manual for methods of analysis of mycotoxins including aflatoxin in food. FSSAI has stated that the manual shall be used by the laboratories with immediate effect and this manual shall supersede the earlier manual on mycotoxins.

According to the FSSAI all food samples suspected of being contaminated with mycotoxins must be handled with extreme care, as aflatoxins are potent carcinogenic substances.

The manual talks about personal safety precautions, precautions during analysis  and handling of glassware for aflatoxin analysis.

Currently, the regulatory limits for mycotoxins in food as defined by the FSSAI include 15 microgram per kg in cereals, and cereal products, pulses, nuts and nuts for further processing. For Aflatoxins  the limit is prescribed at 10 microgram  per kg for ready to eat products, and dried figs, while 30 microgram per kg for spices and for oilseeds for further processing, the limit is set at 15 microgram per kg.

Similarly, the limit of Aflatoxin M1 in milk is 0.5 microgram per kg, Ochratoxin A in wheat, barley and rye is at 20 microgram per kg, and for Patulin, the limit is 50mcrogram per kg in apple juice and apple juice ingredients in other beverages.

Further, the limit for Deoxynivalenol  in wheat is fixed at 1000ppm.

Mycotoxins—toxic secondary metabolites of filamentous fungi—are biological in origin. Only a few of the thousands of mycotoxins present significant food safety challenges to the farm-to-fork food continuum. The natural fungal flora associated with food safety is dominated by three genres: Aspergillus, Fusarium, and Penicillium.

Aflatoxins are highly toxic secondary metabolites and aflatoxin-producing fungi can contaminate crops in the field, at harvest, and during storage. Some of the more common crops susceptible to contamination with aflatoxins are cereals (e.g. maize, rice and wheat). The husk of these cereals are often used as animal feed.

Deoxynivalenol (DON) Deoxynivalenol (DON) also known as vomitoxin is a trichothecene mycotoxin mainly produced by Fusarium fungi (Fusarium molds). This plant pathogens can cause scab mainly in wheat and barley etc., and damages cereals the most widely by contamination in the field. The main commodities affected are cereals such as wheat, rice, barley, oats and maize etc.

Patulin is a mycotoxin that is produced by certain species of Penicillium, Apergillus, and Byssochylamys molds that may grow on a variety of foods including fruit, grains, and cheese  while Ochratoxin A (OTA) is a naturally occurring foodborne mycotoxin found in a wide variety of agricultural commodities worldwide, ranging from cereal grains to dried fruits to wine and coffee.

RASFF Alert – Mycotoxin -Fumonsins – Organic Corn Waffles

European Food Alerts


fumonisins (sum B1+B2: 890; 1130 µg/kg – ppb) in organic corn waffles from Slovakia in Germany

Research – Mycotoxins and food security



Research – Mycotoxins in Beverages


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 [1].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 [2], 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 [2].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 [3].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.

Research – 5 warning signs of mycotoxin contamination in feed

Farmers Weekly


Image CDC

Farmers are being warned to keep their eyes peeled for signs of contamination in feed after sampling has shown high mycotoxin risk levels.

UK-wide sampling carried out by Alltech has shown that 46% of total mixed rations (TMR) produced in spring-summer have a moderate to high mycotoxin risk.

“The most common types of mycotoxin found were the Type A Trichothecenes and the Penicilliums,” explains Bob Kendal, North England ruminant manager at Alltech.

“Penicilliums are found in silages and are of particular concern for ruminants. The mould starts life white in colour before developing a blue/grey/green colour and, as the name suggests, can have an antibiotic effect on rumen bacteria.

“This manifests itself as acidosis-like symptoms, dung consistency and sudden drops in milk.

“Type A Trichothecenes includes T-2 toxin which can have a serious effect on the gut of the cow and reduce intakes and performance.”