Alternaria toxins in food


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EU monitoring recommendations

THE European Commission has recommended that a monitoring of Alternaria toxins, alternariol, alternariol monomethyl ether and tenuazonic acid in foods, should be carried out by food business operators.

Alternaria alternata is a common fungus in many crops, including potato. Brown leaf spot (Alternaria alternata) of potatoes is similar to early blight. Just as common, yet underestimated, brown leaf spot presents symptoms that are often incorrectly attributed to early blight.

Alternaria alternata produces a large number of phytotoxins, but few of these have been chemically characterised. The most common in food are alternariol, alternariol monomethyl ether, altenuene, tenthoxin, and tenuazonic acid.

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The teratogenic and phenotoxic effects observed in humans and animals, for some of these toxins, aroused the interest of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which published a scientific report to inform that chronic intake to Alternaria toxins in the European population is above the threshold of toxicological concern.

Source: Fresh Plaza

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