Aflatoxins (AFs) are among the most harmful fungal secondary metabolites imposing serious health risks on both household animals and humans. The more frequent occurrence of aflatoxins in the feed and food chain is clearly foreseeable as a consequence of the extreme weather conditions recorded most recently worldwide.
Furthermore, production parameters, such as unadjusted variety use and improper cultural practices, can also increase the incidence of contamination. In current aflatoxin control measures, emphasis is put on prevention including a plethora of pre-harvest methods, introduced to control Aspergillus infestations and to avoid the deleterious effects of aflatoxins on public health. Nevertheless, the continuous evaluation and improvement of post-harvest methods to combat these hazardous secondary metabolites are also required. Already in-use and emerging physical methods, such as pulsed electric fields and other nonthermal treatments as well as interventions with chemical agents such as acids, enzymes, gases, and absorbents in animal husbandry have been demonstrated as effective in reducing mycotoxins in feed and food.
Although most of them have no disadvantageous effect either on nutritional properties or food safety, further research is needed to ensure the expected efficacy. Nevertheless, we can envisage the rapid spread of these easy-to-use, cost-effective, and safe post-harvest tools during storage and food processing.toxins-13-00204