Background: Mycotoxins, which are toxic metabolites produced by specific fungi in food crops, can cause serious problems for human’s health. Ochratoxin A is a natural toxin produced by Aspergillus spp. and Penicillium spp. These fungi can grow in different plants and climates, and therefore, contaminate the crops all over the world. Ochratoxin A, as one of the most common mycotoxin, is a potentially carcinogen biometabolite found in a wide range of foods from cereals to spices.
Objective: This review illustrates the efficient prevention and remediation strategies to eliminate this hazardous mycotoxin. Its chemical structure, toxic effects, and safe intake will be briefly described.
Results: The variety strategies have been used to decrease OTA in foods. Some of the important techniques for OTA decontamination are physical and biological methods. Physical decontamination is through the application of heat, microwaves and radiation. The biological decontamination of mycotoxins which are done by microorganisms via the degradation and binding. Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous and Phaffia rhodozyma are the common microorganisms used for remediation of OTA. The combination of probiotics and prebiotics is eficient on toxin removal. Among probiotics Lactobacillus acidophilus is the most popular one.
Conclusion: physical methods especially hot processing have some disadvantages in the food appearance and nutritional values. The biological methods are so popular recently. Using probiotics to remove OTA in contaminated foods seems highly efficient and also environmentally friendly.