Microflora of Mycotoxigenic Fungi in Rice Grains in Kyushu Region of Japan and Their Changes during Storage under non-Controlled Conditions.

Kobayashi N , Sakurai K , Nakarai R , Shigaki K , Horikawa K , Honda M , Sugiura Y , Watanabe M , Takino M , Sugita-Konishi Y
Contamination of agricultural crops by mycotoxins has increased because of the expansion of mycotoxin-producing fungi along with global warming. In this study, the fungal microflora of brown rice grains cultivated in Kyushu region in the southern part of Japan was investigated. A total of 75% of rice samples examined in this study showed less than 30% of fungal contamination rates with a median rate of 12.5%. Some isolates of Aspergillus flavus showed the ability to produce aflatoxins (AFs) (AFB1 production was 62.5-70.4 ng/mL) . Furthermore, AF-producing Aspergillus flavus survived during storage and Aspergillus creber, which produced sterigmatocystin, was detected in a stored rice sample. Although AFs or sterigmatocystin-contamination was not detected in any rice samples, these mycotoxin-producing fungi are distributed and can survive during storage under the natural conditions in Japan. Employing suitable storage conditions is important for preventing mycotoxin contamination of brown rice grains.

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