Category Archives: Fusarium Toxin

Research – USDA Discovers 33 New Mycotoxin-Producing Fungi Species

Food Safety Magazine

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA’s ARS) has discovered 33 new species of mycotoxin-producing fungi belonging to the genus Fusarium.

According to ARS scientists, many Fusarium species produce harmful secondary metabolites in plant tissues including trichothecenes, which are among the mycotoxins of greatest concern to food safety and human health. Not only do mycotoxins present an immediate threat to livestock and humans as they can cause illness, they may also be carcinogenic if consumed regularly over a prolonged period.

Research – Protecting businesses and consumers from Mycotoxin contamination.- Infographic


Research – Underreported Human Exposure to Mycotoxins: The Case of South Africa


South Africa (SA) is a leading exporter of maize in Africa. The commercial maize farming sector contributes to about 85% of the overall maize produced. More than 33% of South Africa’s population live in rural settlements, and their livelihoods depend entirely on subsistence farming. The subsistence farming system promotes fungal growth and mycotoxin production. This review aims to investigate the exposure levels of the rural population of South Africa to dietary mycotoxins contrary to several reports issued concerning the safety of South African maize. A systematic search was conducted using Google Scholar. Maize is a staple food in South Africa and consumption rates in rural and urban communities are different, for instance, intake may be 1–2 kg/person/day and 400 g/person/day, respectively. Commercial and subsistence maize farming techniques are different. There exist differences influencing the composition of mycotoxins in food commodities from both sectors. Depending on the levels of contamination, dietary exposure of South Africans to mycotoxins is evident in the high levels of fumonisins (FBs) that have been detected in SA home-grown maize. Other potential sources of exposure to mycotoxins, such as carryover effects from animal products and processed foods, were reviewed. The combined effects between FBs and aflatoxins (AFs) have been reported in humans/animals and should not be ignored, as sporadic breakouts of aflatoxicosis have been reported in South Africa. These reports are not a true representation of the entire country as reports from the subsistence-farming rural communities show high incidence of maize contaminated with both AFs and FBs. While commercial farmers and exporters have all the resources needed to perform laboratory analyses of maize products, the greater challenge in combatting mycotoxin exposure is encountered in rural communities with predominantly subsistence farming systems, where conventional food surveillance is lacking.

RASFF Alert – Mycotoxins – Fumonisins – Maize


Fumonisins in maize from Italy in Switzerland

Belgium – “Farinha de Milho Amarela” corn flour from the Matias brand – Mycotoxins – Fumonisin


FASFC recall
Product: “Farinha de Milho Amarela” corn flour from the Matias brand.
Problem: Exceeding the fumonisin standard.

The FASFC is today recalling consumers the corn flour “Farinha de Milho Amarela” (500g) of the Matias brand.

This recall follows a RASFF (Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed) concerning the exceeding of the fumonisin standard.

The AFSCA asks not to consume this product and to bring it back to the point of sale where it was purchased.

Product: “Farinha de Milho Amarela” corn flour
Brand: Matias
Batch number: 070621D2
Expiry date (BDD): 01/04/2022
Weight: 500g

This product was sold via various stores in Belgium including:


For any additional information, you can contact the FASFC contact point for consumers: 0800/13.550 or .

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.

RASFF Alert – Mycotoxin – Fumonisins – Cornmeal


Fumonisins in cornmeal from Peru in Spain

Research – Role of climate change in increased mycotoxin levels

All About Feed

Climate change is likely to be part of the reason for the increase in mycotoxin issues for the global animal feed business. And the trend is expected to continue and even accelerate over the next 5 years.

7 out of 10 analyses run last year found raw ingredients contaminated with mycotoxins, according to Cargill’s annual review. But reassuringly, just 35% of these reached performance risk thresholds, showing that positive analyses are not always concerning.

Last year’s study analysed more than 328,000 samples across more than 150 global feed plants, on-farm samplings and storage locations in 54 countries. The majority of these were corn (212,254), cereals (85,478), oilseeds (27,602) or others (3,632). It found 72% of analyses were contaminated with at least one mycotoxin showing that contamination is more likely than not across all ingredients.

Since mycotoxins are produced by moulds as a natural defence response to environmental factors, their occurrence is linked to climate conditions.

RASFF Alert – Mycotoxins – Fumonsins – Maize Flour


Fumonisins in maize flour from Portugal in Luxembourg

Research – Alltech analysis sees high levels of aflatoxin in corn samples across Central and Eastern Europe

Feed Navigator

Alltech, in its latest mycotoxin threat analysis, compiled survey data for key feed ingredients on a regional level, and the results indicate the presence of moderate to high levels of mycotoxin risk.