Risk to consumers from fungal toxins in shellfish should be monitored

Sep 05, 2013

To protect consumers, screening shellfish for fungal toxins is important, say scientists.

Research, published today (06 September) in the Society for Applied Microbiology (SfAM) journal, Letters in Applied Microbiology, shows that in an area with contamination by strains of Penicillium fungus, bivalve molluscs (clams, oysters, mussels, scallops, etc.) will contain toxins at much higher levels that are found in the surrounding environment.

Professor Yves Fran├žois Pouchus, from the University of Nantes, France, led the research, he said "A high level of toxins in the shellfish tells us that we have to be careful not to underestimate the impact of certain Penicillium strains in the water where shellfish are harvested for ."

Professor Pouchus' team have found that the fungi actually produce more toxin when growing inside or in a medium containing mussel extract.

Although toxins from Penicillium don't cause acute food poisoning, they can have a negative impact on cells and DNA. In theory, these could cause health issues in the long term, such as cancer.

Pouchus concluded "At this point, we think it would be pertinent to begin screening edible shellfish for mycotoxins in order to protect consumers."

Explore further: Researchers find protein necessary for fertility performs different roles in sperm, eggs

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Cause of mussel poisoning identified

Mar 24, 2009

The origin of the neurotoxin azaspiracid has finally been identified after a search for more than a decade. The azaspiracid toxin group can cause severe poisoning in human consumers of mussels after being ...

Recommended for you

In a role reversal, RNAs proofread themselves

Jan 29, 2015

Building a protein is a lot like a game of telephone: information is passed along from one messenger to another, creating the potential for errors every step of the way. There are separate, specialized enzymatic ...

Growing functioning brain tissue in 3D

Jan 29, 2015

Researchers at the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Japan have succeeded in inducing human embryonic stem cells to self-organize into a three-dimensional structure similar to the cerebellum, providing ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.