A review of postharvest approaches to reduce fungal and mycotoxin contamination of foods

Abstract

Contamination of agricultural and food products by some fungi species that produce mycotoxins can result in unsafe food and feed. Mycotoxins have been demonstrated to have disease-causing activities, including carcinogenicity, immune toxicity, teratogenicity, neurotoxicity, nephrotoxicity, and hepatotoxicity. Most of mycotoxins are heat stable and cannot be easily destroyed by conventional thermal food processing or domestic cooking methods. Postharvest approaches to prevent growth of mycotoxin-producing fungi and detoxify mycotoxins from contaminated food are important topics in food safety research. Physical, chemical, and biological methods have been applied to prevent fungal growth or mycotoxin production, or to reduce mycotoxin content in the postharvest period and contribute toward mitigating against the effects of mycotoxins on human health. This literature review aims to evaluate postharvest approaches that have been applied to control both fungi growth and mycotoxin content in food and discuss their potential for upscaling to industrial scale

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