Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School



The occasional contamination of foods by biologically active compounds arising from metabolic processes of mold contamination represents a situation which has probably existed since prehistoric times. This is due in part to the ubiquitous distribution of fungi and the frequent opportunity for their growth during the harvest and subsequent storage of foods, and the recognized capabilities of these organisms to produce complex molecules. Within the last decade an increasing body of knowledge has become available concerning the effects of carious deleterious biological metabolites on the health of animals and man. Increased sophistication of methods and approaches to biological problems and clearer concepts of mechanisms of action at the molecular level have greatly increased our current capabilities of detection, through sensitive bioassay procedures, of individual cellular responses to specific micro insults. Today, more than one thousand toxic fungal products or mycotoxins have been recognized (Hesseltine, 1965). Aspergillus flavus, with its associated mycotoxins, is but one of many fungal containments which may occur in cereal products or other foods. The purpose of this study were (1) to investigate and demonstrate whether detectable amounts of mycotoxins can be produced by known toxigenic strains of fungi when they were grown on a variety of manufactured foods such as bread, cheese, jelly and other foods; (2) to determine what types of human foods were suitable substrates for toxin formation; (3) to determine what physiological conditions such as temperature, pH and available water would permit maximum production of mycotoxins; and (4) to develop a rapid method of detection and analysis of aflatoxins in human foods. (see more in text)

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Food contamination




South Dakota State University