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J Sci Food Agric. 2018 Dec;98(15):5785-5794. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.9128. Epub 2018 Jun 25.

Effect of potassium sorbate (E-202) and the antifungal PgAFP protein on Aspergillus carbonarius growth and ochratoxin A production in raisin simulating media.

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Agronomic Mediterranean Institute of Bari (CIHEAM IAM Bari), Valenzano, Italy.
Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie e Forestale (DAFNE), Universitá degli Studi della Tuscia di Viterbo, Viterbo, Italy.
Food Hygiene and Safety, Meat and Meat Products Research Institute, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Extremadura, Cáceres, Spain.
UGC Corazón. Hospital Clínico Universitario Virgen de la Victoria, Instituto de Investigación Biomédica de Málaga (IBIMA), CIBERCV, Universidad de Málaga (UMA), Málaga, Spain.



Ochratoxin A (OTA) is a mycotoxin produced by several species of Aspergillus and Penicillium fungi. The presence of OTA in raisins is mainly related to black Aspergillus spp. contamination. This toxin poses risks to human and animal health due to its high toxicity and carcinogenicity. New strategies to avoid the risk associated with OTA are therefore necessary.


A comparison was made between the effects of the antifungal protein PgAFP and potassium sorbate (E-202) on the growth of Aspergillus carbonarius, biosynthetic- and stress-related gene expression and its OTA production at two water activity (aw ) levels, 0.95 and 0.93 aw . The results showed that PgAFP successfully controlled OTA production, whereas E-202, despite being able to reduce Aspergillus carbonarius growth, caused a significant increase in OTA production by the fungus.


PgAFP protein, a biological compound with an antifungal activity, is safer to use than E-202 and may be proposed as a food preservative and a useful strategy to control ochratoxigenic A. carbonarius in raisins. © 2018 Society of Chemical Industry.


Aspergillus carbonarius; E-202; PgAFP; ochratoxin A; raisins

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