Mycotoxins in organic grains.
Improper handling of grain may result in high levels of Ochratoxin A
By Susanne Elmholt, Maiken Schioldann Haase, Department of Agroecology, Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences
Improper handling of grain may result in the formation of the mycotoxin, Ochratoxin A (OTA). In temperate conditions, OTA is produced by Penicillium verrucosum<link removed>. It is the cause of porcine nephropathy and regarded as being carcinogenic. It is, however, not produced in all conditions and an increased knowledge on the ecology of P. verrucosum will improve our possibilities to prevent fungal dispersal, growth and mycotoxin production.
Surveillance reports from the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration indicate more severe problems with OTA in organic than in conventional farms, although problems seem decreasing during recent years.
At the Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences, we have been studying the ecology of P. verrucosum. Our results indicate that the fungus is more frequently occurring in organically than in conventionally