Mycotoxins are toxic metabolites of molds. They can cause cancer and damage liver, kidney and are known to be mutagenic. Because of that, mold infested food generally should not be consumed. The following table shows an overview of the most important representatives of mycotoxins.

Representatives of mycotoxins

Mold Mycotoxin Effects Appearance
Ergot (Claviceps purpurea) Ergot alcaloids Convulsions Rye, wheat
Aspergillus flavus Aflatoxins Cirrhosis and cancer of the liver Nuts, corn
Penicillium expansum Patulin Cellular toxin Rotten fruits, fruit juice
Aspergillus ochraceus Ochratoxin A Fatty liver, damage of the kidney Barley, corn


Belitz H.-D., Grosch W., Schieberle P.: Food Chemistry, 2001

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