Main content area

Recent mycotoxin survey data and advanced mycotoxin detection techniques reported from China: a review

Selvaraj, Jonathan Nimal, Wang, Yan, Zhou, Lu, Zhao, Yueju, Xing, Fuguo, Dai, Xiaofeng, Liu, Yang
Food additives & contaminants 2015 v.32 no.4 pp. 440-452
European Union, Fusarium, aflatoxin M1, commercialization, cooking fats and oils, corn, deoxynivalenol, fluorescence, fumonisins, ginger, hay, immunosensors, licorice, medicinal plants, microarray technology, milk, ochratoxin A, peanut oil, peanuts, powders, rain, raw milk, rice, roots, rye, seeds, surface plasmon resonance, surveys, wheat, wines, zearalenone, China
Mycotoxin contamination in agro-food systems has been a serious concern over the last few decades in China, where the Ministry of Health has set maximum limits for mycotoxins in different agro-products. Overall survey data show that aflatoxin contamination in infant cereals, edible oils, raw milk, ginger and its related products are far below Chinese regulatory limits. The absence of aflatoxin M ₁ contamination in infant milk powders indicates a high standard of control. Aflatoxins in liquorice roots and lotus seeds have been reported for the first time. For deoxynivalenol, high levels were found in wheat grown in the Yangtze Delta region, which is more prone to rainfall, supporting Fusarium infection. The emerging mycotoxins beauvericins and enniatins have been reported in the medicinal herbs in China. Ochratoxin A in wine was below the European Union regulatory limits, but fumonisins in maize need to be monitored and future regulatory control considered. Overall from all the survey data analysed in this review, it can be concluded that 92% of the samples analysed had mycotoxin levels below the Chinese regulatory limits. In terms of detection techniques in recent years, immuno-based assays have been developed largely due to their excellent sensitivity and ease of use. Assays targeting multiple mycotoxins like aflatoxins, ochratoxin A, zearalenone and deoxynivalenol have been reported using microarrays and suspension arrays targeting in particular maize, rice and peanuts. Aptamer-based assays against ochratoxin A and aflatoxins B ₁ and B ₂ have been developed involving fluorescence detection; and surface plasmon resonance immunosensors have been developed targeting wine, maize, wheat, wild rye, hay and peanut oil with high sensitivity (> 0.025 ng l ⁻¹). Commercialisation of these technologies is much needed for wider usage in the coming years.