The objectives of this project are to determine the effects of thermal processing and chemical treatments on moniliformin, zearalenone, and other mycotoxins, to study the effects of electron beam irradiation in combination with peroxide treatments on aflatoxin levels in contaminated grain, and to correlate patulin levels and fruit quality to microbial quality of apple cider.
Mycotoxins are a chemically diverse group of secondary metabolites produced by fungi. They are responsible for significant financial losses for the food industry. Mycotoxins pose a threat to human and animal health, and the determination of methods for reducing the mycotoxin content of food is desirable. In addition, there is a need to develop a data base on the occurrence and levels of mycotoxins in processed food. In the past, work done at the NCFST has mainly focused on the effects of thermal processing and chemical treatments on fumonisin in corn products. More work is needed understand the effects of processing on mycotoxins and to identify methods for reducing mycotoxin levels in food. Little is known about the effects of thermal processing on moniliformin, zearalenone and other mycotoxins. Although there has been some reports on the destruction of aflatoxin and other mycotoxins with gamma irradiation, little is know about the effects of electron beam irradiation in combination with chemical treatments on mycotoxin. Finally, more work is needed to determine if patulin levels can be used to predict the microbial quality of apple cider and other juices.</p>