Ochratoxin A (OTA) producing fungi are members of the genera Aspergillus and Penicillium. Nowadays, there are about 20 species accepted as OTA producers, which are distributed in three phylogenetically related but distinct groups of aspergilli of the subgenus Circumdati and only in two species of the subgenus Penicillium. At the moment, P. verrucosum and P. nordicum are the only OTA producing species accepted in the genus Penicillium. However, during the last century, OTA producers in this genus were classified as P. viridicatum for many years. At present, only some OTA producing species are known to be a potential source of OTA contamination of cereals and certain common foods and beverages such as bread, beer, coffee, dried fruits, grape juice and wine among others. Penicillium verrucosum is the major producer of OTA in cereals such as wheat and barley in temperate and cold climates. Penicillium verrucosum and P. nordicum can be recovered from some dry-cured meat products and some cheeses. © 2010 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
- Ochratoxin A