Topic 1 Introduction

Exposure to mycotoxins can happen either directly by eating infected food or indirectly from animals that are fed contaminated feed, in particular meat, milk and eggs from infected animals can pose a serious risk to human health.

The effects of food-borne mycotoxins are acute with symptoms of severe illness emerging rapidly after consumption of contaminated food products.

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Some mycotoxins occurring in food have been associated to long-term effects on health, including the induction of cancers and immune deficiency. These effects depend on several factors such as the toxicological properties of the agent, the individual properties of the consumer, duration of exposure, but also to a possible interaction with other present contaminants. Nevertheless, of all the mycotoxins identified so far, only a few cause severe effects on human health.

Source: Azam, M., Ahmed, S., Islam, M., Maitra, P., & Yu, D. (2021). Critical assessment of mycotoxins in beverages and their control measures. Toxins, 13(5), 323.