Mycotoxins and mycotoxigenic fungi: Risk and management. A challenge for future global food safety and security

Elsevier, Encyclopedia of Mycology, Volume 1, 2021, Pages 64-93
Altomare C., Logrieco A.F., Gallo A.

Food safety is a priority for humanity. A major menace for food safety is represented by mycotoxins, toxic secondary metabolites produced by molds that infect field crops and which contaminate raw agricultural commodities as well as processed foods and feeds. These fungal toxins exhibit a number of adverse health effects in animals, even at very low concentrations, and have been associated to cases of acute and chronic poisoning of humans and farm animals since historical times. Mycotoxins not only jeopardize the health of consumers and livestock, but they are also a concern for international trading and an important issue for national and international regulatory bodies, which have to cope with the necessity to set limits for mycotoxin content in foods and feeds and harmonize standards throughout the world taking into account both consumers’ safety and social and economic impact of regulatory measures