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Mycotoxins And Molds Effects

mycotoxins and Molds have considerable worldwide significance in terms of public health, agriculture, and economics.Toxins produced by molds are known as mycotoxins (myco=fungal).
Molds and Mycotoxins
Molds and Mycotoxins

The group of societies and agricultural scientists from across the United States, has estimated that in the United States alone$20 million is lost annually on just
one crop, peanuts, contaminated with just one mycotoxin, aflatoxin. Obvious mold growth causes rejection of the food, whereas mold growth that is not obvious can leave noxious mycotoxins that render the food harmful when eaten.

Molds and mycotoxins growth

Molds grow at moisture levels lower than the bacterial growth , although heat and high relative humidity sharply increase growth rates .
Any food on which molds have grown can potentially contain mycotoxins. Some examples include fruit juice, yogurt, sour cream, cheese, bread, grains, nuts, cured meats, and jams.
However, not all molds produce mycotoxins, and the very same species of mold that produces mycotoxins under one set of conditions does not produce them under another.
It is impossible to tell by appearance, taste, or smell which molds have produced mycotoxins.
Some foods may not carry any visible evidence of mold yet may still bear mycotoxins.
Particular problems are foods that are ground, such as flour or peanut  butter , or that come from animals fed mycotoxin-contaminated feed.
Grinding a few moldy peanuts into peanut butter or moldy kernels of grain into feed or flour may contaminate the whole batch. Milk and dairy products may be contaminate the whole batch.
Milk and dairy products may be contaminated if cattle are fed moldy rations, as aflatoxins can be secreted into the milk.

History of mold as a cause of disease

Moldy food has long been known to be a cause of disease.
Ergotism or holy fire is the earliest and best known mold-associated disease.
Bread prepared from grains infected by Calviceps purpurea- especially blackened rye-causes ergotism . A gangrenous form of ergot poisoning was common in central Europe from the ninth to the 14th century.
Descriptions of those afflicted noted that the first symptoms were prickly sensations in the limbs.
The limbs then became swollen, inflamed, and subject to sensations of intense heat and cold(the disease thus became known as St. Antony's fire), followed by gangrene and eventual loss of the limb.
The outbreaks were so frequent in France that the order of St. Anthony was formed to provides hospitals for those suffering from St. Anthony's fire.
A convulsive form of ergotism c involving the nervous system was also described as occurring in Europe from the late 16th to the late 19th century.
It was also reported in the United States and has been implicated in the Salem witchcraft trials of 1692.
Ergot mold has since been shown to contain derivatives of the hallucinogen lysergic acid.
In Japan as early as the 17th century, an acute form of cardiac beriberi was associated with yellow rice toxins, which belong to the penicillium genus of molds and have also been associated with liver cancer.
Other rice molds, noted as causing diseases such as red mold or scabby disease have been found to belong to the Fusarium group of molds.
A particularly severe and often fatal mycotoxicosis, alimentary toxic aleukia, is caused by the ingestion of grains left outside during the winter.
It was first recognized in Russia in 1913. Food shortages near Siberia forced overwintered wheat m millet, and barley to become a significant part of the Soviet diet. The melting snow raised the moisture content of the grains and favored mold growth.
ATA reached epidemic proportions in the Soviet Union during and just after World War 2.
The disease is characterized by three stages.
The first stage, consisting of mouth and throat inflammation, gastro-enteritis, and vomiting, is followed by an asymptomatic .
Second stage during which immunodepression is observed.
The third and often fatal stage is characterized by pinpoint-sized hemorrhages in the skin petechaiae and necrotic ulcers in various parts of the body.
In the Soviet Union outbreak , mortality was as high as 60%. Highly toxic t-2 toxin along with other trichothecenes were later confirmed as the cause .
As less severe form of ATA that also occurred there had the unusual name of drunken bread syndrome. Symptoms included headache vertigo, trembling of ex-syndrome, and gastrointestinal symptoms.
That's all about Molds and Mycotoxins for today, enjoy reading


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