Mycotoxins are secondary mould metabolites that are toxic to humans, animals and plants.

The colloquial term “mould” comprises a series of ubiquitous saprophytic microorganisms that grow fast and proliferate vegetatively. Their distinctive mycelium forms a white to intensely coloured, furry layer on substrates affected [1, 2].

Some of the moulds growing on foods are capable to produce mycotoxins. For the most important mycotoxins information is summarized in the following:

- Alternaria toxins

- Fusarium toxins

- Aflatoxins

- Ochratoxin A

- Patulin

- Ergot alkaloids


[1] Mücke, W.; Lemmen, C.: "Schimmelpilze - Vorkommen, Gesundheitsgefahren, Schutzmaßnahmen"; 3., überarbeitete und erweiterte Auflage; ECOMED Medizin, Verlagsgruppe Hüthig Jehle Rehm GmbH; Landsberg; 2004

[2] Kück, U. et al.: "Schimmelpilze - Lebensweise, Nutzen, Schaden, Bekämpfung"; 3. Auflage; Springer-Verlag; Berlin, Heidelberg; 2009

© Dr. Stefan Asam