Mycotoxins: An Open Challenge for Food Safety

It is a pleasure to welcome with this editorial for the launched inaugural issue of Toxicology: open access, a new peer reviewed scientific publication which aims to give the scientific community the opportunity to disseminate the results of their research by offering a panoramic view of novel trends and perspectives. This Editorial gives to me the opportunity to outline the relevance of secondary metabolites produced from some micro fungi. One of the major risks associated with food and toxicology is represented in fact by mycotoxins.

Mycotoxins
Mycotoxins

They affect global agriculture in such a wide way that they can be considered ubiquitous at some concentration in the average human diet. Studies of their in vitro and in vivo toxicity are discussed, leading to investigations of co-exposed mycotoxins, as well as their possible synergic effects. Mycotoxins are toxic secondary metabolites produced from micro fungi. They represent a major risk for consumers not only related to toxicological aspects, but also to their frequency and concentration in primary and processed food. Some of the most common and toxicologically significant mycotoxins, e.g. aflatoxins, ochratoxins, fumonisins, deoxynivalenol, T-2 toxin, HT-2 toxin, patulin, zearalenone, and some ergot alkaloids are studied and their presence if food assessed. The wide variety of pathogenic mechanisms which these compounds use are capable of inducing a complex set of interactions.

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