The growing interest in mycotoxins, has led to the discovery of new toxic compounds of fungal origin. This review covers some emerging mycotoxins: enniatins (ENNs), beauvericin (BEA), sterigmatocystin (STC), moniliformin (MON), Alternaria spp toxins (ALT), citrinin (CTN). ENNs act as a ionophore, altering the functionality of cell channels, they generate oxidative stress and induce apoptosis. Cereals and cereal-derived foods are the most contaminated items. BEA is quite similar to ENN and like this molecule has ionophoric and pro-oxidant properties. The most contaminated food group is cereals. STC, a precursor of aflatoxin B1, can generate DNA adducts and promote ROS generation. The higher levels of STC are found in grains. Toxins produced by ALT, inhibit protein synthesis, disrupt sphingolipid synthesis and induce DNA breaks. Tomato and tomato-derived products are the food groups in which it is easiest to find ALT. MON toxicity is based on the inhibition of thiamin-containing enzymes and the induction of oxidative stress. Grains are the matrix with the highest levels of MON. CTN is produced during food storage and is common in supplements containing red mould rice used to lower blood cholesterol. Generation of oxidative stress is the main way used to exert toxicity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-27
Number of pages21
JournalMediterranean Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Emerging mycotoxins
  • beauvericin
  • enniatins
  • sterigmatocystin
  • y


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