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Aflatoxins in the nut chains: strategies to reduce their impact on consumer’s health and economic losses

In: World Mycotoxin Journal
Authors:
S.N. Chulze Research Institute on Mycology and Mycotoxicology (IMICO), National Research and Technological Council from Argentina (CONICET), National University of Rı́o Cuarto (UNRC), 5800 Rı́o Cuarto, Córdoba, Argentina

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8818-1103
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M.S. Alaniz Zanon Research Institute on Mycology and Mycotoxicology (IMICO), National Research and Technological Council from Argentina (CONICET), National University of Rı́o Cuarto (UNRC), 5800 Rı́o Cuarto, Córdoba, Argentina

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9462-9592
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M.H. Taniwaki Food Technology Institute, Av. Brasil 2880, CEP 13070-178 Campinas, SP, Brazil

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1676-2101
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D. Tsitsigiannis Department of Crop Science, Laboratory of Phytopathology, Agricultural University of Athens, Iera Odos 75, 118 55 Athens, Greece

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https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2006-6106
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M. Olsen Privat expert, Muningatan 25, 75308 Uppsala, Sweden

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9049-5355
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A. Ortega Beltran International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), PMB 5320, Oyo Road, Ibadan 200001, Oyo State, Nigeria

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https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3747-8094
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M. Herrera Food Science and Technology Department, Veterinary Faculty, University of Zaragoza, c/Miguel Servet 177, 50013 Zaragoza, Spain

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2469-0363
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E. Vargas Laboratório Federal de Defesa Agropecuária em Minas Gerais (LFDA-MG), Ministério da Agricultura, Pecuária e Abastecimento (MAPA), Av. Rômulo Joviano, s/n – Olaria, Pedro Leopoldo, MG, 33250-220, Brazil

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https://orcid.org/0009-0001-3114-6956
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A. Logrieco National Research Council, Institute of Sciences of Food Production (CNR-ISPA), via Amendola 122/O, 70126 Bari, Italy

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8606-451X
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P. Battilani Department of the Science of Sustainable Vegetable Production, Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, Universitá Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, via E. Parmense, 84-29122 Piacenza, Italy

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https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1287-1711
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Abstract

The presence of Aspergillus section Flavi and aflatoxins (AFs) in nut chains are of great concern due to the toxic effects of AFs on human and animal health as well as the economic losses during commercialisation. Extreme events related to climate change like increased temperature, severe rainfalls and droughts are modulating factors of fungal growth and mycotoxin production. The Expert Working Group (EWG) on nuts that worked under the frame of the Horizon 2020 Mycokey Project prepared this review based on discussions about the situation of contamination with AFs in nuts and the available strategies to reduce the impact of these toxins in the nut chains. The EWG selected as examples peanuts, pistachios and Brazil nuts, and discussed in the review the importance of nut value chains in the production, commercialisation and regulations that establish maximum levels for AFs. Also data on the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) was considered and showed several notifications for mycotoxins, mainly AFs for nuts and nut products, such as pistachio nuts and dried mix nuts. Under a scenario of climate change, we elaborated strategies to prevent AFs contamination with emphasis on biocontrol and decision support systems. Also, the relevance of strategies to prevent and reduce both fungal infection and AFs accumulation in peanuts, Brazil nuts and pistachio are included as guidelines.

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