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Fungal microflora and ochratoxin A risk in French vineyards

Sage, L., Garon, D., Seigle-Murandi, F.
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2004 v.52 no.18 pp. 5764-5768
Vitis vinifera, wine grapes, toxigenic strains, microbial contamination, fruits (plant anatomy), food contamination, species diversity, fungi, Aspergillus carbonarius, ochratoxin A, viticulture, grape must, France
To evaluate the ochratoxin A risk in French vineyards, five winemaking regions were investigated. An exhaustive survey of the fungal microflora of 60 grape samples was carried out at two development stages of the berries: end of veraison and harvest time. Potentially toxinogenic fungi isolated from grapes were assessed in vitro for ochratoxin A production. Ochratoxin A was also quantified in musts by high-performance liquid chromatography after cleanup on immunoaffinity columns. Among the 90 species identified, almost half are listed as mycotoxin producers, but only 2 are potentially ochratoxinogenic: Aspergillus carbonarius and Aspergillus niger. Among these strains, only A. carbonarius, isolated from the Languedoc region at harvest time, was found to produce ochratoxin A. These results were in accordance with the presence of ochratoxin A in French southern region musts (0.01-0.43 microgram/L) and confirmed the major implication of A. carbonarius in ochratoxin A contamination.