Degradation of ochratoxin A by Aspergillus species.
Mycotoxin contamination of agricultural products is a serious health hazard throughout the world. Besides attempts to eliminate mycotoxins from contaminated substrates by physical and chemical methods, the ability of microbes to degrade mycotoxins is now being widely examined. In this study, several Aspergillus species were examined for their ability to degrade ochratoxin A. A. fumigatus and black Aspergillus strains were found to detoxify ochratoxin A in culture media. The kinetics of ochratoxin A detoxification by an atoxigenic A. niger strain was examined by thin layer chromatography, high-performance liquid chromatography and an immunochemical technique. A. niger CBS 120.49 effectively eliminated ochratoxin A from both liquid and solid media, and the degradation product, ochratoxin α, was also decomposed.