Ochratoxin A (OTA) is a mycotoxin produced by several fungi of the Pnicillium and Asper-giUus species. Aflatoxin is produced by at least three species of Aspergillus, A. flavus, A. parasiticus, A. nominus. They occur naturally in a variety of plant products such as cereals, coffee, wine, beer and spices. OTA has been proved to have carcinogenic, nephrotoxic, teratogenic, immunotoxic and possibly neurotoxic properties and has been linked to nephropathy in humans.
Aflatoxins have sub-acute and chronic effects in humans like primary livercancer, chronic hepatitis, jaundice, hepatomegaly and cirrhosis. Aflatoxin Mt is an hydroxylated metabolite produced when ruminants ingest contaminated feed. It is excreted in milk and may subsequently contaminate other dairy products such as cheese and yoghurt, which represents an important risk factor for frequent consumers, in particular for infants and young children. After cereal products, coffee and beer contribute about 15 %to OTA ingestion.
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