Occurrence & Risk of OTA in Food and Feed

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Ochratoxin A (OTA) is a ubiquitous mycotoxin produced mainly by fungal species of the genera Aspergillus and Penicillium, detectedworldwide in various food and feed sources and represents a potential human health hazard. OTA is nephrotoxic and is suspected ofbeing the main etiological agent responsible for human Balkan endemic nephropathy (BEN) and associated urinary tract tumours.International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified OTA as a possible human carcinogen (group 2B). The mycotoxinochratoxin A (OTA) is the most important and most common member among several structurally related ochratoxins. It isa secondary metabolite produced mainly by the following three fungal species Aspergillus alutaceus (formerly known as A. ochraceus),A. carbonarius, and Penicillium verrucosum (EFSA, 2006).Cereals and cereal by-products constitute a major part of the daily diet of the human and animal populations. The total annualyields of cereals globally add up to more than 2000 million tons. Because they are easy to package and transport, they are used forproducing a large variety of highly desirable foods, beverages and feed.However, an investigation on a worldwide scale showed that 25% to 40% of cereals are contaminated by mycotoxins (El Khouryand Atoui, 2010).Due to high stability, mycotoxins represent an important problem not only during cereal grain production in field, but also instorage, transport, processing and post-processing steps. This contamination can occur in several times, in the field and/or duringstorage.It is especially in the countries with hot and wet climatic conditions (in particular African countries, South Asia and South America)that the growth of toxigenic filamentous fungi is most favoured. Thus, rice, corn, and millet, the basic foods of the populationsof these countries, are often contaminated by ochratoxins (Nguyen et al., 2007).
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteEncyclopedia of Food Chemistry
Numero di pagine4
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2019


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