Mycotoxins and Pesticides: Toxicity and Applications in Food and Feed

  • Manoj Kumar
  • Ramesh ChandEmail author
  • Kavita ShahEmail author


Toxins are most abundant and active compound of fungi and it produces nearly 1.2–2.1 μg/mg dry matter of fungal tissue. In some of the phytopathogenic fungi prehelminthosporol and helminthosporol affects fungal hyphae, germinated conidia and membrane permeability, thereby, inhibiting oxidative phosphorylation, β-1,3-glucan synthase enzyme and proton pumping across plasma membrane by killing or weakening plant cells. Mycotoxins are low molecular weight secondary metabolites synthesized by filamentous fungi. It produced by fungi in raw matter of food and feed all around the world. Mycotoxins are of prime concern in cereals, dried fruit, nuts, infant preparations, coffee, fruit juice milk and wine, which may include aflatoxins, ochratoxins, zearalenone, fumonisins, doxynivalenol, patulin and T-n 2/HT-2 toxins. Mycotoxins affect DNA, RNA, protein synthesis and metabolic reactions in human and animal causing thereby an ongoing risk to food and feed supply security. The best strategy for detoxification of mycotoxins from feedstuff is by biodegradation using enzymes and microorganisms. However, pesticides are also being used to overcome the problems of the toxin and for improved human and animal health. Use of pesticides are beneficial for the food crops to protect them from various pests but, their residues in the food materials are harmful to the human and animal health. Fungal cells contain melanin pigment in the outer layer of the wall which acts as defense against adverse environmental factors and pesticide applications. To overcome the problem of pathogenesis during crop production, melanin inhibitors as tricyclazole, acibenzolar, phthalide, proquinazid and pyroquilon etc. are commonly used to interrupt the plant-pathogen interactions. In past decades European Union (EU) reported more than 3000 pesticide used in crop protection. Among these tricyclazole is considered to be the safest fungicide. For a more comprehensive understanding about toxins and pesticides in food crops and foodstuff, a detailed study for purity of food and food crops for human welfare is needed employing modern analytical techniques including ELISA, TLC, GC, HPLC, etc. Therefore, analysing relevant chemical contaminants and mycotoxins is an essential part of food safety to ensure animal and human health and comply with regulatory limits. An overview of the known mycotoxins and pesticides toxicity and applications in food and feed is presented herein.


Food Fungi Health Mycotoxin Pesticide Toxicity 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of ScienceBanaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiIndia
  2. 2.Department of Mycology and Plant Pathology, Institute of Agricultural SciencesBanaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiIndia
  3. 3.Institute of Environment and Sustainable DevelopmentBanaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiIndia

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