Category Archives: Fusarium Toxin

Research – Latest EU audit questions Turkish approach to control mycotoxins


An audit carried out between the months of May and June 2022 by the General Directorate of Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE) of the European Commission on the official controls that Turkey applies in relation to mycotoxins in dried figs and pistachios concludes that they are not effective. This conclusion fully coincides with the alerts and rejections at the border level that are notified through the Rapid Alert Network for Feed and Food (RASFF), where figs and pistachios from Turkey are prominent players due to the presence of aflatoxins.

It should be noted that the EU establishes that each shipment of dried figs and pistachios coming from Turkey or through Turkey must have a health certificate issued by the authorities, as well as the results of official sampling that demonstrate compliance with the requirements on maximum levels. of aflatoxins. It should be remembered that no level has been established for Ochratoxin A in dried figs. Figs from Turkey are subject to a 20% analysis frequency by EU countries, while it is 50% for pistachios.

There is a decreasing trend of rejection decisions based on Turkish pre-export tests. This fact contrasts with the results obtained in the controls carried out by the EU countries. In short, the ability of the Turkish control system to ensure that all shipments of exported dried figs and pistachios have been produced in accordance with EU regulations is called into question.

The auditors found that official controls are not designed to verify and control whether farmers implement mycotoxin control measures. Reports on official controls, including the effectiveness of HACCP schemes and controls carried out by processors, are also poor.

Research – Major Soilborne Pathogens of Field Processing Tomatoes and Management Strategies



Globally, tomato is the second most cultivated vegetable crop next to potato, preferentially grown in temperate climates. Processing tomatoes are generally produced in field conditions, in which soilborne pathogens have serious impacts on tomato yield and quality by causing diseases of the tomato root system. Major processing tomato-producing countries have documented soilborne diseases caused by a variety of pathogens including bacteria, fungi, nematodes, and oomycetes, which are of economic importance and may threaten food security. Recent field surveys in the Australian processing tomato industry showed that plant growth and yield were significantly affected by soilborne pathogens, especially Fusarium oxysporum and Pythium species. Globally, different management methods have been used to control diseases such as the use of resistant tomato cultivars, the application of fungicides, and biological control. Among these methods, biocontrol has received increasing attention due to its high efficiency, target-specificity, sustainability and public acceptance. The application of biocontrol is a mix of different strategies, such as applying antagonistic microorganisms to the field, and using the beneficial metabolites synthesized by these microorganisms. This review provides a broad review of the major soilborne fungal/oomycete pathogens of the field processing tomato industry affecting major global producers, the traditional and biological management practices for the control of the pathogens, and the various strategies of the biological control for tomato soilborne diseases. The advantages and disadvantages of the management strategies are discussed, and highlighted is the importance of biological control in managing the diseases in field processing tomatoes under the pressure of global climate change.

Composition-Based Risk Estimation of Mycotoxins in Dry Dog Foods



The risk of mycotoxins co-occurrence in extrusion-produced dry foods increases due to their composition based on various grains and vegetables. This study aimed to validate a risk estimation for the association between ingredients and the ELISA-detected levels of DON, FUM, ZEA, AFs, T2, and OTA in 34 dry dog food products. The main ingredients were corn, beet, and oil of different origins (of equal frequency, 79.41%), rice (67.6%), and wheat (50%). DON and FUM had the strongest positive correlation (0.635, = 0.001). The presence of corn in the sample composition increased the median DON and ZEA levels, respectively, by 99.45 μg/kg and 65.64 μg/kg, p = 0.011. In addition to DON and ZEA levels, integral corn presence increased the FUM median levels by 886.61 μg/kg, = 0.005. For corn gluten flour-containing samples, DON, FUM, and ZEA median differences still existed, and OTA levels also differed by 1.99 μg/kg, < 0.001. Corn gluten flour presence was strongly associated with DON levels >403.06 μg/kg (OR = 38.4, RR = 9.90, = 0.002), FUM levels >1097.56 μg/kg (OR = 5.56, RR = 1.45, = 0.048), ZEA levels >136.88 μg/kg (OR = 23.00, RR = 3.09, = 0.002), and OTA levels >3.93 μg/kg (OR = 24.00, RR = 3.09, = 0.002). Our results suggest that some ingredients or combinations should be avoided due to their risk of increasing mycotoxin levels.

Research – Evaluation of the dietary exposure of the Catalan population to mycotoxins of the genus Fusarium


Within the framework of total diet studies, the Catalan Food Safety Agency (ACSA) publishes a second study on the evaluation of mycotoxins: “Evaluation of the dietary exposure of the Catalan population to mycotoxins of the genus Fusarium”.

In 2014, a first study was published in which the presence of the main mycotoxins in food intended for human consumption in the Catalan market was determined, and the intake of food linked to this contamination to estimate the food exposure of the population residing in Catalonia, and evaluate the risk to health (ACSA, 2014). Considering the results obtained, the ACSA considered it necessary to carry out this second, more specific study on mycotoxins, evaluating those that were found most frequently in the foods of the Catalan market, the mycotoxins of the genus Fusarium, and also taking into account the most exposed population groups.

The present study shows that the mycotoxins detected with greater frequency were DON and ENNB followed, with a much lower frequency, by mycotoxin T-2 and mycotoxins FB1 and DON-3G. The rest of mycotoxins analyzed (3-ADON, 15-ADON, NIV, FUS-X, zearalenone, HT-2, FB2 and FB3) will always present levels below the detection limit.

All the age groups evaluated have an exposure to DON and ENNB lower than the respective safety values. The average exposure of the adult population and children in Catalonia to the mycotoxin DON presents values ​​between 7.5% and 10.1% of the safety value. The average exposure of the population to ENNB presents values ​​​​that are two orders of magnitude lower than the extrapolated safety values.

Total diet studies make it possible to better understand the reality linked to the main chemical pollutants that reach the Catalan market, and in this way specific decisions can be made to correct possible risk situations for the health of consumers.

Research – Strategies for Controlling the Sporulation in Fusarium spp


Fusarium species are the most destructive phytopathogenic and toxin-producing fungi, causing serious diseases in almost all economically important plants. Sporulation is an essential part of the life cycle of FusariumFusarium most frequently produces three different types of asexual spores, i.e., macroconidia, chlamydospores, and microconidia. It also produces meiotic spores, but fewer than 20% of Fusaria have a known sexual cycle. Therefore, the asexual spores of the Fusarium species play an important role in their propagation and infection. This review places special emphasis on current developments in artificial anti-sporulation techniques as well as features of Fusarium’s asexual sporulation regulation, such as temperature, light, pH, host tissue, and nutrients. This description of sporulation regulation aspects and artificial anti-sporulation strategies will help to shed light on the ways to effectively control Fusarium diseases by inhibiting the production of spores, which eventually improves the production of food plants.

Research – Emerging health threat and cost of Fusarium mycotoxins in European wheat

CDC Fusarium1

Mycotoxins harm human and livestock health, while damaging economies. Here we reveal the changing threat of Fusarium head blight (FHB) mycotoxins in European wheat, using data from the European Food Safety Agency and agribusiness (BIOMIN, World Mycotoxin Survey) for ten years (2010–2019). We show persistent, high, single- and multi-mycotoxin contamination alongside changing temporal-geographical distributions, indicative of altering FHB disease pressure and pathogen populations, highlighting the potential synergistic negative health consequences and economic cost.

Research – Alltech: Testing of corn and forage in Europe indicates moderate to high mycotoxin risk for dairy cows.

Feed Navigator

In all regions of Europe, grass and corn silage samples contained levels of mycotoxins that would be deemed higher risk for use in dairy production, finds the Alltech 2022 European Harvest Analysis.

Research – From Aflatoxin to Zearalenone: Mycotoxins You Should Know – Deoxynivalenol (DON)


Mycotoxins are substances produced by fungi that infect grain crops like maize and small grains and cause ear and kernel rots. Exposure to mycotoxins can lead to chronic or acute toxicity in humans and animals. In addition, mycotoxins can lead to market losses, discounts, rejection of grain lots at elevators, and a reduction in livestock efficiency and productivity.

The most economically important mycotoxins include aflatoxins (AF), deoxynivalenol (DON, also known as vomitoxin), fumonisins (FUM), zearalenone (ZEA), ochratoxin A (OTA), T2, HT-2, ergot alkaloids, and patulin (PAT). The fungal species that produce mycotoxins have worldwide distribution; therefore, mycotoxin contamination occurs everywhere grain crops are grown. Accordingly, mycotoxins have been detected in feed, silage, food, and beverages derived from cereal grains and animal products exposed to contaminated feed.

Research – The underestimated risk of mycotoxins in dairy cows

All About Feed

It is a myth that rumen microbial activity allows dairy cows to handle mycotoxin toxicity completely. A closer look at rumen degradation capability shows that this is not the case. Therefore, a mitigation strategy should be holistic, practical and beyond binding.

Risk, impact, and diagnostics

A complex and diverse Total Mixed Ration (TMR) poses multiple mycotoxin toxicity challenges. Although rumen microbes can reduce the toxicity of some mycotoxins, not all mycotoxins are equally degraded in the rumen. In high-yielding dairy cows high-starch diets can compromise the detoxification capacity of rumen microbes. For some mycotoxins, such as zearalenone (ZEN), rumen degradation may increase the toxicity. Furthermore, extended periods of exposure to low levels of multiple mycotoxins may lead to chronic toxicity, an increasing issue that is notoriously difficult to diagnose at an early stage.

Mycotoxins can threaten dairy cows’ health, rumen function, feed intake, milk yield, milk quality, lameness, and reproductive abilities. Many “mouldy silage syndrome” cases in the field have shown incidences of increased somatic cell counts, undigested faecal feed particles, laminitis, mastitis and ruminitis cases. Cases of reproductive challenges and vaccination failures have been reported with multiple mycotoxins in TMR.

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Research – Recent Research on Fusarium Mycotoxins in Maize—A Review


Maize (Zea mays L.) is one of the most susceptible crops to pathogenic fungal infections, and in particular to the Fusarium species. Secondary metabolites of Fusarium spp.—mycotoxins are not only phytotoxic, but also harmful to humans and animals. They can cause acute or chronic diseases with various toxic effects. The European Union member states apply standards and legal regulations on the permissible levels of mycotoxins in food and feed. This review summarises the most recent knowledge on the occurrence of toxic secondary metabolites of Fusarium in maize, taking into account modified forms of mycotoxins, the progress in research related to the health effects of consuming food or feed contaminated with mycotoxins, and also the development of biological methods for limiting and/or eliminating the presence of the same in the food chain and in compound feed. View Full-Text