Mycotoxins are secondary fungal metabolites. Several toxigenic fungi are pathogenic to cereal crops. Mycotoxins encompass a wide range of compounds, several of which have been shown to cause disease in domestic animals and, less frequently, in humans. The toxicology, prevention & control, and analytical methods are highlighted. Toxicology is represented by measurement of aflatoxin-DNA adducts as biomarkers of long-term risk of disease in people, mechanism of fumonisin B1 carcinogenesis, and enhancement of ochratoxin A toxicity by citrinin. Attempts of mycotoxins control include preventing toxigenic fungi formation, decreasing toxins bioavailability, and facilitating toxins destruction. Monitoring mycotoxins occurrence and levels in commodities and foods is crucial to divert contaminated materials from human and animal food supplies. Methods of analysis for mycotoxins include immunoaffinity columns, molecularly imprinted polymers, liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, and qualitative and quantitative lateral flow methods.
Food allergies limit the ability to consume foods without great caution and may be life-threatening. Increased government regulation and education is being used to address public concern on the rising food allergy rates. With the broad application of avoidance techniques through analysis, labeling, medical testing and possibly food modification, the rise in food allergy rates may be slowed and perhaps even reversed. While there are promising medical treatment developments it has had relatively little impact in managing food allergy. At present there is little available preventive treatment with management being primarily avoidance of food and emergency treatment of severe adverse reactions. For the public, vigilance on food items is important, and for industry, a wide variety of controls, including production and product line testing as well as labeling, are used to help the consumer make accurate avoidance choices. There are important issues of detection and threshold and using immunological and computer modeling to evaluate allergenic potential in food discussed in this book.
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Darsa Siantar is a senior scientist at the Alcohol & Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) under the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
Mary W. Trucksess is the US Food and Drug Administration's principal authority on mycotoxins.
Peter Scott received is a research scientist working on mycotoxins at Health Canada.
Eliot Herman is a Research Molecular Biologist of the USDA Agricultural Research Service located at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis.
Books by the same Authors Mycotoxins and food safety.- Editors: Jonathan W. Devries, Mary W. Trucksess, and Lauren S. Jackson. 2003. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, Vol. 504. Kluwer Academic, New York; xi+295 pp.; hardback, EUR 148.00/USD 135.00/GBP 94.00; ISBN 0-306-46780-1
Mycotoxin protocols. Mary W. Trucksess and Albert E. Pohland (Eds.), 2001, Methods in Molecular Biology Inc., Volume 157, John M. Walker, Series Editor, Humana Press, Totowa, New Jersey 07512; 2000; hardback, pp xii+ 244; US$79.50; ISBN 0-089603-623-5
Environmental Carcinogens - Selected Methods of Analysis. Volume 5- Some Mycotoxins. H. Egan, L. Stoloff, M. Castegnaro, P. Scott, I.K. O'Neill and H. Bartsch (Eds). International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France, 1982, 455 pp.
Mycotoxins: a Canadian Perspective. P.M. Scott, H.L. Trenholm and M.D. Sutton (Eds). National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa, Canada, 1985, 185 pp.
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