2. Microbiological assay of mycotoxin-producing molds

Author: Nevin Emin, Yordanka Kartalska


Mycotoxins are secondary fungal metabolites, toxic to humans and animals alike.
Mycotoxins are considered hazardous which requires accurate detection of each toxin. Several screening methods for direct visual determination of mycotoxin production have been reported. In order to reduce the risk for consumers, it is necessary to introduce rapid methods for the detection of toxigenic microfungi isolated from food samples.
For the purpose of the study presented in this paper, we managed to isolate and identify different fungal species belonging to Fusarium sp., Penicillium sp. and Aspergillus sp. from wheat seeds on the basis of their macroscopic and microscopic characteristics.
The primary concern of our study was to use proper morphological methods and selective media with a view to identifying filamentous fungi isolated from wheat grains. As a result, a total of 19 wheat germ molds were isolated, seven of which being Fusarium sp., six Penicillium sp. and the other six – from the Aspergillus species.
Furthermore, we found that 53 percent of the isolated mold species were capable of producing aflatoxins grown in the β-cyclodextrin media.
Another important implication was that the culture media and reagents used in our study were found suitable for mycological laboratory analyses. Significant advantages of such media are considered the following: rapid diagnosis, simple preparation, better availability and relatively low-prices.

Keywords: wheat, storage, fungi, mycotoxins, aflatoxins, rapid detection methods