Ecophysiology of Aspergillus section nigri species potential ochratoxin a producers.

PMID 22069566


After aflatoxins, ochratoxin A (OTA) is the most studied mycotoxin due to the toxicological significance in human and animal diets. OTA presence has been extensively reported worldwide in the last decade in several agricultural products. The main OTA producer in tropical and temperate climates is Aspergillus carbonarius followed by species belonging to A. niger aggregate. Currently, many scientists worldwide have studied the influence of water activity and temperature for growth and biosynthesis of OTA by these species on synthetic media. This article reviews ecophysiological studies of Aspergillus section Nigri strains on synthetic media and natural substrates. The results of these investigations suggest that significant amounts of OTA can be produced in only five days and that the use of different storage practices, such as a(W) and temperature levels below 0.930 and 15 °C, respectively, allow controlling fungal contamination and minimizing the OTA production in several products as peanuts, corn, dried grapes and derived products for human consumption.