In Spain, low ochratoxin A (OTA) levels have been detected in several pork products but there is no information published about the fungi involved in this OTA contamination. It is well known that P. verrucosum is much more frequently found on cereals in countries where they occasionally have OTA problems as in North European countries compared with South Europe where levels of OTA generally seem to be lower or not detected. Much less information is available about citrinin (CIT) and CIT producing species in cereals and their by products. The aim of this study was to determine, identify and characterize the occurrence of potential OTA and CIT producing Penicillium spp. from mixed feeds and raw materials purchased in the Spanish market and used as feedstuffs. A total of 155 Penicillium spp. isolates belonging to 34 species were analyzed in order to know if they are able to produce OTA and/or CIT. From these isolates, 11 P. verrucosum which were characterized by RAPD analyses, produced OTA. Fourteen isolates were CIT producers, 10 isolates of P. verrucosum and 4 of P. citrinum. Although the occurrence and abundance of OTA and CIT Penicillium producing species have been low in our study, our results confirm the potential risk of OTA and CIT production in feeds if stored improperly. Our results also confirm the occurrence of P. verrucosum in South European countries and that it is the only OTA producing Penicillium species in these substrates.
- Ochratoxin A
- Penicillium verrucosum