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Chapter 17 : Fungal and Mushroom Toxins
Category: Food Microbiology; Applied and Industrial Microbiology
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The biological kingdom of the fungi contains many toxigenic species. Unlike many of the microorganisms of food safety concern, the fungi can be macroscopic, colorful, and, in this author’s opinion, beautiful and endlessly fascinating to observe. This chapter discusses species that pose the most significant food safety risks. The species include those of the filamentous fungi, also known as molds, which produce mycotoxins. The major mycotoxigenic mold genera of agronomical concern include Aspergillus, Pencillium, and Fusarium. The major food safety concerns with mycotoxins are their stability to food processing techniques and the fact that many can be transmitted through animal tissue, milk, and eggs from animals fed mycotoxin-contaminated feed. Poisonous mushrooms have been employed throughout human history for nefarious purposes. Mushrooms are becoming increasingly more prominent as cultivated foods. Mushroom amatoxins are a family of cyclic octapeptides and are produced by mushroom species including Amanita phalloides, A. virosa, and Galerina autumnalis. The mushroom toxins that cause neurological effects can cause a range of symptoms including sweating, coma, convulsions, hallucinations, excitement, depression, and spastic colon. These include some of the most infamous forms of mushroom intoxication, and cooking does not inactivate these toxins.
Key Concept Ranking
- Ochratoxin A