Risks Related to the Presence of Fungal Species and Mycotoxins in Grapes, Wines and Other Derived Products in the Mediterranean Area
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© 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. The present chapter gives an up-to-date overview of the presence of fungal and mycotoxin contaminations of grapes and grape-derived products in the Mediterranean area. Mycotoxins represent a high risk for public health in food commodities worldwide. Aspergillus carbonarius and Aspergillus niger "aggregate" are the main fungal species causing grape rot and producing the mycotoxin ochratoxin A (OTA), which can be found in the grape chain. Wine represents the second source of human exposure to OTA after cereals, with red wines generally being more contaminated than rosé and white dry wines. These differences can be explained by varietal susceptibility, wine-making techniques, and the latitude and weather conditions of the country producing a certain type of wine. Sweet or special wines from dehydrated grapes as well as grape juices and dried vine fruits result in higher OTA levels. Preventive control measures in pre- and post-harvest are the best tools for reducing OTA contamination. Furthermore, more efforts to develop simple, low cost, harmonized sampling and analytical methods are necessary.
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