Mycotoxins are poisonous secondary metabolites produced by fungi or moulds. The most significant mycotoxins are those that are present in food and/or feedstuffs as they can potentially be harmful to humans and livestock. Mycotoxins are often associated with visibly diseased mouldy crops since they are a product of fungi.
Crops may still be extensively contaminated with mycotoxins despite displaying only a few signs of disease or superficial moulds. Some food-borne mycotoxins can cause acute health symptoms which can appear almost immediately after ingestion. In contrast, delayed and cumulative health problems including carcinogenesis and immunodeficiency can be the chronic sequalae of food-borne mycotoxins.
By Radka Borutova, Adisseo