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Mycotoxins and Mycotoxicoses: Significance, Occurrence and Mitigation in the Food Chain


  1. Wayne L. Bryden PhD, FAIAST, FNSA

Published Online: 15 DEC 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9780470744307.gat157

General, Applied and Systems Toxicology

General, Applied and Systems Toxicology

How to Cite

Bryden, W. L. 2009. Mycotoxins and Mycotoxicoses: Significance, Occurrence and Mitigation in the Food Chain. General, Applied and Systems Toxicology. .

Author Information

  1. The University of Queensland, Faculty of Natural Resources, Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences and Centre for Nutrition and Food Science, Gatton, QLD, Australia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2009


Mycotoxins are secondary fungal metabolites, which when ingested cause disease syndromes called mycotoxicoses. Fungi are ubiquitous and formation of mycotoxins can occur in all agricultural and food commodities under appropriate field or storage conditions. In this increasingly complex area the salient features of fungal growth and mycotoxin production are described, with strategies to mitigate their accumulation in the food chain. As mycotoxins can be elaborated in food commodities, especially cereal grains prior to harvest, preventive measures begin with good agronomic practices, including cultivating to improve plant vigour, judicious use of insecticides to reduce insect damage, irrigation to avoid drought conditions, harvesting at maturity and, more recently, application of genomics to improve genetic resistance to fungal attack. Storage and food processing conditions can assist in reducing mycotoxin occurrence. Human populations in developing countries are more likely than people in developed economies to be exposed to mycotoxins in their food and strategies have been proposed for education and intervention to reduce the health and economic burden of these toxins.


  • mycotoxin;
  • mycotoxicoses;
  • fungi;
  • aflatoxin;
  • ochratoxin;
  • trichothecenes;
  • zearalenone;
  • fumonisins;
  • deoxynivalenol;
  • ergot alkaloids;
  • Aspergillus;
  • Fusarium;
  • Penicillium