Fungal and Mycotoxin Contamination of Herbal Raw Materials and Prospects of Higher Plant Products as Plant-Based Preservatives During Post-Harvest Processing

  • Nawal Kishore DubeyEmail author
  • Prashant Kumar Mishra
  • Akash Kedia
  • Bhanu Prakash


Herbal drugs have been used since ancient times for prevention and treatment of diseases as well as to promote health and healing. Generally, herbal drugs are considered to be free from side effects but the poor practices of their harvesting, collection, transportation and storage often lead to extensive fungal growth and accumulation of mycotoxins. Fungal and mycotoxin contaminations are the major cause of decline of market value of herbal drug raw materials. Such contamination degrades the quality of raw materials and the medicinal value of the formulated herbal drugs. Synthetic chemical preservatives have been prescribed to control different post-harvest fungal contaminations but due to their residual and mammalian toxicities, herbal pharmaceutical industries need some safer chemicals as preservatives during post-harvest processing of herbal raw materials. Currently, several plant-derived chemicals and their formulations are practically used on a large scale as antimicrobials and are recognized as safer alternatives of synthetic chemicals. Among the higher plant products, plant essential oils, being volatile in nature, may be recommended as botanical fumigants to minimize fungal growth and mycotoxin contamination of herbal drug raw materials. The present chapter deals with an account of fungal and mycotoxin contamination of herbal raw materials and the prospective of plant-derived chemicals as preservatives during post-harvest processing of herbal raw materials.


Herbal drugs Mycotoxins Antimicrobial Plant based preservatives Botanical fumigants 


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Copyright information

© Springer India 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nawal Kishore Dubey
    • 1
    Email author
  • Prashant Kumar Mishra
    • 1
  • Akash Kedia
    • 1
  • Bhanu Prakash
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Herbal Pesticides, Centre of Advanced Study in BotanyBanaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiIndia

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