REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0400.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: Aflatoxin contamination; Cereals; Intrinsic factors; Extrinsic factors; Climate change; Mitigation strategies
Online: 26 January 2022 (13:12:06 CET)
Aflatoxins (AFs) contamination of cereals is considered one of the greatest food safety concerns worldwide. Occurrence of AFs in maize, wheat, rice and sorghum is highly prevalent with each commodity accounting for more than 10% of world’s AF exposure. Their occurrence as food contaminants is also associated with huge economic losses. AFs are highly stable compounds that cannot be eliminated by regular processing of grains. Hence, prevention of AFs in food and feed is now considered more important than the subsequent interventions to mitigate the deleterious health effects of AFs in human and animals. However, the development of an effective preventive strategy hinges on a clear understanding of the underlying factors influencing AFs production. Therefore, the present review aims to highlight the most significant factors influencing AFs contamination of cereals at pre-and post-harvest stages. This is crucial for effective monitoring of critical control points and optimisation of preventive strategies in food and feed supply chains. Several intrinsic and extrinsic factors have been reported of which nutritional composition, environmental factors (temperature, water activity and relative humidity) and climate change have been identified as primary factors, while pH of the substrate, carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the gaseous environment, and agronomic and socioeconomic status are the main secondary factors promoting AFs biosynthesis in cereals. Additionally, an overview of global occurrence of AFs in cereals, with their health impacts and various preventive measures have also been highlighted.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0266.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: Mycotoxins; Agricultural Practices; Mycotoxigenic Fungi; Fusarium; Oats; Cereals; Statistical Analysis; Agronomic
Online: 19 October 2021 (10:18:56 CEST)
Seven agronomic factors (crop season, farming system, harvest date, moisture, county, oat variety, and previous crop) were recorded for 202 oat crops grown across Ireland, and samples were analysed by LC-MS/MS for four major Fusarium mycotoxins: deoxynivalenol (DON), zearalenone (ZEN), T-2 toxin and HT-2 toxin. Type A trichothecenes were present in 62% of crops, with 7.4% exceeding European regulatory limits. DON (6.4%) and ZEN (9.9%) occurrences were rela-tively infrequent, though one and three samples were measured over their set limits respectively. Overall, the type of farming system and the previous crop were the main factors identified to significantly influence mycotoxin prevalence or concentration. Particularly, adherence to an organic farming system and growing oats after a previous crop of grass were found to decrease contamination by type A trichothecenes. These are important findings and may provide valuable insights for many other types of cereals crops as Europe moves towards a much greater organic based food system.