Current importance of ochratoxin A-producing Aspergillus spp.

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Ochratoxin A (OA) is receiving attention worldwide because of the hazard it poses to human and animal health. OA contamination of commodities, such as cereals or pork and poultry meat, is well recognized. Nevertheless, there is an increasing number of articles reporting OA contamination in other food commodities, such as coffee, beer, wine, grape juice, and milk, in the last few years. This continuous and increasing exposure to OA that humans experience is reflected in the high incidence of OA in both human blood and milk in several countries. OA was believed to be produced only by Aspergillus ochraceus and closely related species of section Circumdati and by Penicillium verrucosum; however, in the genus Aspergillus, the production of OA has been recently reported by species outside the section Circumdati. Thus, it has been clearly established as a metabolite of different species of the section Nigri, such as Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus carbonarius. OA production ability by Aspergillus spp. is more widespread than previously thought; therefore, there is the possibility that unexpected species can be new sources of this mycotoxin in their natural substrates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)903-906
JournalJournal of Food Protection
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001


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