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Fungi are higher organisms among microorganisms. They are microorganisms that have cell walls, no chlorophyll, no roots, leaves or stems, and survive by saprophytic or parasitic methods, and can reproduce sexually or asexually. Fungi are used to process food. However, under certain circumstances, fungi can cause food to spoil. Some fungi can cause human diseases as pathogens. The metabolites of fungi-mycotoxins can also cause harm to humans and animals.
Mycotoxin is a secondary metabolite produced by certain fungi (such as Aspergillus, Fusarium, etc.). Feed or food in feed or food can cause acute or chronic poisoning of humans and animals, and damage the body's organs and tissues. Mycotoxins endanger the growth and reproduction performance of animals, humans and crops, and endanger health. Mycotoxins are ubiquitous in the environment around us.
Classification of Mycotoxins
There are many types of mycotoxins, and hundreds of mycotoxins have been found. According to chemical structure, mycotoxins include trichothecenes, zearalenone, butenolides, etc. According to the source, mycotoxins include aflatoxin, ochratoxin, sterigmatocystin, islandin, patulin, citrinin, and fusarium mycotoxins.
Characteristics of Mycotoxins
Mycotoxins are a large family with a molecular weight of 200-500 kD with different chemical properties.
- High efficiency: very low concentration can produce obvious toxicity
- High stability: small molecule compounds, stable properties, high temperature resistance, acid resistance
- Enrichment: resistance to chemical biological agents and physical inactivation
- Specificity: the molecular structure is different, the toxicity is quite different
- Synergy: The combined effect of multiple mycotoxins is higher than the cumulative addition of the effects of a single mycotoxin.
Application Examples of Mycotoxins
Aflatoxin is a strong carcinogen and is related to the onset of liver cancer. The erythrenone in common corn has an estrogen-like effect. The ergotoxine secreted by clavieps purpurea has a strong effect of constricting arteries and blood vessels, resulting in limb necrosis. However, certain ergot preparations can be used as uterine contractors.