Fungal growth and the production of mycotoxins are influenced by several factors. Environmental conditions such as temperature, water activity, and humidity affect mycotoxin production and fungal growth. Other factors such as pH, fungal strain, and substrate also play roles. Common mycotoxins include aflatoxins, fumonisins, trichothecenes, sterigmatocystin (STC), citrinin, ergot alkaloids, ochratoxins, zearalenones (ZEAs), patulin, deoxynivalenol (DON), Alternaria toxins, tremorgenic mycotoxins, fusarins, cyclochlorotine, sporidesmin, 3-nitropropionic acid, etc. These toxins cause many health conditions in animals and humans, including death. A comprehensive approach starting from the field before planting, continuing throughout the entire food chain is required to control mycotoxin contamination. Good practices, such as proper field practices before and after planting, good harvest practices and postharvest handling, and proper drying and storage measures, help reduce mycotoxin contamination. Several physical, biological, and chemical techniques have been applied to help reduce/eliminate mycotoxin contamination. Food processing also play slight role in mycotoxins removal.
Part of the book: Fungal Reproduction and Growth