Integrated approach of the prevention of mould spoilage risks and mycotoxin contamination of stored grain – A European perspective


Abstract: Stored grain moulds may grow in cereal grain with critical moisture content. The invasion of seeds by seedborne fungi can induce grain heating, off-odours and reduction of germination capacity. Some species produce harmful mycotoxins. Mycotoxin contaminations of cereal grain are a worldwide issue for public health, agro-food industry concerns, and economics. The most toxigenic storage fungi include members of the genera Aspergillus and Penicillium. The prevention of mould growth in stored grain bulks is the single way to manage this important grain quality issue.The integrated management of storage moulds spoilage risks is based on five pillars: i/ Prevention of mould development in keeping grain condition below the moisture threshold enabling harmful fungus species germination and growth; ii/ Accurate monitoring of activity of water (in grain) and temperature changes during storage, associated to the monitoring of telling indicators of mould respiration activity; iii/ reduction of grain bulk moistening trends by physical intervention means or by preservative additives; iv/ use of bio-competitive strains of fungi or bacteria to prevent the development of Aspergillus spp. and Penicillium spp. toxigenic strains to install in grain bulks; v/ use of physical treatments (ozone, grain pearling or abrasion) to limit mycotoxin contamination risks in processed cereal food. Future research needs on this topic are evocated.

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