Although Hungary and Tanzania's climatic, soil, and technological conditions differ significantly in crop production, cereals crop cultivation is of paramount importance; maize crop dominates the cultivated area (Hungary 1 million ha, Tanzania 3 million ha) both from a feed and food point of view. Unfortunately, in both countries, fungal species (Fusaria, Aspergilli, Penicillia, etc.) that produce various mycotoxins on cereals, including maize grains, are a growing concern. The situation is complicated because these fungal species and their toxins can appear not only on cereals but also on other crops. Despite the prevalence of mycotoxins in both countries, studies show higher exposure risks and contamination above tolerable levels for human consumption in Tanzania to Hungary, with Tanzania observing acute aflatoxicosis.
As in other parts of the world, the frequency of weather extremes has increased greatly in Hungary in recent years. This means that maize production is faced with greater risks from all aspects: nutrient replacement, irrigation, plant protection. This is especially true of fusarium diseases. In a continental climate, the pathogens causing the most serious problems are species belonging to the Fusarium genus. They infect the ears, which – besides reducing the yield – poses considerable risk to both human and animal health due to the mycotoxins produced by them. Depending on which Fusarium species are dominant at a given location, changes can be expected in the level of infection and in the quality deterioration caused by the mycotoxins they produce. Fusarium spp. not only damages the maize ears but when pathogen attacks the stalk, the plant dies earlier, reducing grain filling and resulting in small, light ears. In addition, the stalks break or lodge, resulting in further yield losses from ears that cannot be harvested. The degree of infection is fundamentally determined by the resistance traits of the maize hybrids, but also a great role in that region Fusarium species composition as well.
In Hungary the mycotoxin is a great problem, because there are many natural toxins in wheat and maize. These cereals can be found on
considerable proportion of the country’s sowing area, and they are deterministic food for the population. The direct human and animal
utilization of the contaminated cereals mean a serious risk in the food chain. In Hungary’s climate the soil is contaminated with pathogen
moulds, particularly Fusarium species, which increase by respective temperature and moisture content in cereals. The Fusarium can
decrease the quality of the wheat in different ways: decrease the germination capability and cause visible discoloration and appearance of
mould, reduces the dry material and nutrient content of the grain. From the toxins produced by the Fusarium genus, the trichotecene (T-2,
HT-2, deoxinivalenol, nivalenol, diacetoxyscxirpenol, Fusarenon-X) and the estrogenic zearalenon (F-2) are the most common in Hungary.
The fumonisins (FB1, FB2, FB3) first identified in 1988, relatively newly discovered, are also important. Major proportion of mycotoxins in a
healthy organization is metabolized by the enzyme system of liver and intestinal bacteria. The toxicity is reduced or even leaves off.
However, more toxic and biologically active compounds can be formed. For the reduction of mycotoxin-contamination several possibilities
are available in the case of storage, processing and feeding.
Nowadays, it is often suggested that, we should eat products made with whole grain cereals, despite of the fact that it raises the risk of consuming wheat products infected by mold and their toxins originated from the plough-lands and the stocks.
Two third of the cultivated fields in Hungary are planted with cereals. The most alarming problem for food and feed security is caused by the Fusarium species. The greatest problem of all is caused by the mycotoxins. When they get into the food chain they can be a serious threat to public health. In addition, we have to face up to the problem of the effects of global warming that influence the growth of microbial infections in different ways.
In this article we tried to summarize the effect of climate change on molds, the factors which have effect on growing and mycotoxin producing of molds and the identification methods of molds.
Expectation regarding changes related to food production, transportation, distribution and marketing have changed considerably in several regions of the world over the past decades. It is especially true for highly industrialized countries where not only the food security is important but the food safety is essential too. The concentration of production – processing – distribution involves the danger on the one hand products of unsuitable quality from point of view of nutritional physiology and the other hand ones that may contain substances harmful to human health will become widespread among consumers. We investigated the heavy metal, pesticide remains and mycotoxin content of different plant products.
The Fusarium fungi hazards the grain quality of cereals, therefore significantly affects their utilization as animal feed or consumable product. The Fusarium can decrease the quality of wheat in different ways: decreases the germination capability, causes visible discoloration, mould may appear, reduces the dry material and nutrient content of the grain, causes mycotoxin infection – as a result given by its by-product. Micotoxins produced by Fusarium genus, as the trichotecenes (T-2, HT-2, deoxynivalenol, nivalenol, diacetoxyscirpenol, Fusarenone-X) and the zearalenone (F-2) are the most common in Hungary. Occurrence of fumonisins first discovered in 1988 are must be identified carefully. About 20–30% of the overall worldwide production of cereals is infected with Fusarium and its toxins, which situation is similar in Hungary. This infection causes serious yield-losses in cereal production. In the case of cereal products, which non-utilizable as forage seems, an optimal solution is utilizing as biogas raw material, but it is also important to examine the effect of the infected cereal on the anaerobe digestion process.
Corn samples harvested in 1997, 1998 and 1999 from different soil types were stored at different conditions (temperature, moisture content, state of kernels) for six months. The Fusarium contamination was examined by plate dilution method and the amount of mycotoxins (F-2, T-2, HT-2, DON, DAS) were determined applying HPLC method immediately after harvesting and in the third and sixth month of storage. The aim of our study was to find correlation between the ecological factors, storage conditions and the examined parameters mentioned above, as well as to prove them statistically. According to the examinations carried out after harvesting we could state that the soil type had no effect on the parameters. Analysing the effect of the years we found considerable differences. The Fusarium infection of corn samples in 1998, while the toxin contamination in 1999 was the highest. The results of storage experiment show that year (number of microscopic fungi, F-2, T-2, HT-2, DAS and total toxin content) and moisture content of kernels (F-2, T-2, and total toxin content) have a significant effect on the examined parameters. We could prove the effect of temperature on the T-2 content (samples with natural moisture content) and DON content (samples with 14% moisture content). Higher values were found at higher temperature storage. The ratio of damaged kernels influenced the DON concentration in the non- wetted samples and the number of microscopic fungi in the wetted samples.
As an extension of the analysis of black, white and capsicum peppers for aflatoxins , we have examined an additional 11 types of spices and
4 herbs for these mycotoxins. The investigations consisted of assessment of the applicability of available methods of analysis and modifications of
these, where necessary together, with a limited survey of each spice and herb for aflatoxins. The analysis of 13 types of ground spices reported
the presence of low concentrations of aflatoxins in some samples of black pepper, celery seed, and nutmeg. We decided to include in our study 5
of the spices examined by these workers (cinnamon, celery seed, coriander, nutmeg, and turmeric) for a comparison purpose. In addition we
examined ginger, mace, cumin seed, dill seed, garlic powder, onion powder, and the herbs marjoram, rosemary, thyme, and sage.
Fusarium graminearum is one of the most significant arable pathogen in Hungary, and various types of trichothecene mycotoxins (mostly DON, deoxynivalenol) are detected most commonly in cereals (Biró et al., 2011). Fusarium infection and mycotoxin production could not be eliminated, and infected maize by Fusarium sp. cannot be exploited as food, seed, or animal feed. However it can be raw material of biogas production. In this research we would like to investigate the content and effect of the toxin in the end product of biogas production on plant germination. The Fusarium sp. can cause mildew and seedling mortality in seed of maize (Zea mays L.), so we examine the effect of this on germination. In preliminary examination Fusarium sp. was not detected in the bioreactor of the Institute after the retention time (30 day), however it can be assumed that during the hydrolysis of the fungus growth and mycotoxin production also increased exponentially. There were no appropriate tools to detect the toxin in the end product of biogas production so modelling of anaerobic hydrolysis was necessary. The effects of hydrolyzed product for germination were also detected.