The Institute of Food Science & Technology, through its Public Affairs and Technical & Legislative Committees, has authorised the following Information Statement prepared by its Professional Food Microbiology Group, dated February 2006.
Mycotoxins occur widely in nature. There are several different types of these substances; all of them are produced by filamentous fungi. Organisms producing them can develop in foods at any stage in the food chain from the field to the plate. They can also enter the food chain by more indirect routes, for example, in milk from animals that have consumed contaminated material. Effective control requires a combination of good agricultural practice, carefully controlled storage and surveillance at every stage from field to plate. Developing economies are at particular risk from these contaminants as the (generally) moist, warm climates favour mould growth, while adequate control and good storage are difficult to achieve. This Information Statement presents a general overview of the problem, representing a basis from which more detailed Information Statements on specific Mycotoxins will be developed.
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