Mycotoxins in bovine milk and dairy products: a review


Tania Aparecida Becker-Algeri … [et al.]


Journal of Food Science 81(3)2016:R544-R552


Cow’s milk. Occurrence. Toxicity.


This paper presents a literature review of the occurrence of several mycotoxins in bovine milk and dairy products, because it is the main type of milk produced and marketed worldwide. Mycotoxins are produced by different genera of filamentous fungi and present serious health hazards such as carcinogenicity and mutagenicity. Under favorable growth conditions, toxigenic fungi produce mycotoxins which contaminate the lactating cow's feedstuff. During metabolism, these mycotoxins undergo biotransformation and are secreted in milk. Data show that there is a seasonal trend in the levels of mycotoxins in milk, with these being higher in the cold months probably due to the prolonged storage required for the cattle feeds providing favorable conditions for fungal growth. Good agricultural and storage practices are therefore of fundamental importance in the control of toxigenic species and mycotoxins. Although aflatoxins (especially aflatoxin M1) are the mycotoxins of greater incidence in milk and dairy products, this review shows that other mycotoxins, such as fumonisin, ochratoxin A, trichothecenes, zearalenone, T‐2 toxin, and deoxynivalenol, can also be found in these products. Given that milk is widely consumed and is a source of nutrients, especially in childhood, a thorough investigation of the occurrence of mycotoxins as well the adoption of measures to minimize their contamination of milk is essential