Mycotoxins in Fruit and Fruit Products

Devin C Lewis, Renee Goodrich-Schneider


The term “mycotoxin” is generally associated with secondary metabolic toxic products of filamentous fungi to which humans and animals can be exposed, most often through ingestion. This exposure can result in a range of toxicities (acute to chronic), and a spectrum of effects (mild to severe) including carcinogenicity and death. The history of mycotoxicoses has been long and dramatic, including a cereal-associated outbreak of ergot contamination that is thought to have catalyzed the unfortunate events known as the Salem Witch Trials. While many significant mycotoxins are associated with grain-based food products, fruit and fruit products can also be affected. Patulin, a mycotoxin produced by many Penicilliumspp., is a known hazard in the apple juice industry where its levels are under regulatory control (no more than 50 ppb in apple juice). Orange juice and fermented fruit beverages such as wine are also susceptible to mycotoxin contamination from Fusariumand Aspergillusspp., respectively. Other fruits support the growth of mycotoxin-producing fungi, although specific conditions that lead to the production of mycotoxins are not well-elucidated. Inconsistencies in reports and lack of survey data on the prevalence and level of mycotoxins in fruit products makes the risk assessment
of mycotoxins in fruit products challenging.


Penicillium, Fusarium, Aspergillus, patulin, ochratoxin, fumonisin, aflatoxin, toxicity, grapes, apples, juice, beverage

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283