Mycotoxins in fresh fruit – harmful compounds of natural origin
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Instytut Medycyny Wsi im. Witolda Chodźki, Lublin, Polska
Ewelina Farian   

Instytut Medycyny Wsi im. Witolda Chodźki, Jaczewskiego 2, 20-090, Lublin, Polska
Med Srod. 2019;22(1-2):9–12
Mycotoxins are secondary fungal metabolites commonly found in foods that pose a health risk to consumers. Maximum levels of major mycotoxins allowed in food have been set worldwide based on, among others, toxicity assessment, sources of exposure, and demand and supply of contaminated raw materials. Particular attention is mainly focused on products intended for human consumption. Several hundred different mycotoxins are known, some of which have antibiotic potential while and others are extremely toxic to humans and animals. The main mycotoxins found in fruit are aflatoxins, ochratoxins, patulin, alternariol, alternariol monomethyl ether, tentoxin and fumonisin. These compounds are stable at high temperatures and persist in products for a long period of storage. In addition, mycotoxins do not have a characteristic odour and do not change the organoleptic properties of food, which makes detection difficult. Consumed metabolites can affect a single organ o target multiple organs, leading to cytogenic, mutagenic, carcinogenic, teratogenic or immunosuppressive activity. The aims of the study are to characterize the main mycotoxins naturally found in fruit, based on assessment of their toxicity, and to discuss the factors affecting their production or ability to spread inside fruit tissues. The information collected will help raise consumer awareness of food safety. Until now, only the levels of mycotoxins contained in dried or freeze-dried fruits have been in the spotlight, but there is little information on their direct consumption.
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