The impact of climate change on mycotoxin contamination in cereal grains and the implications for children’s health in Canada
MetadataShow full item record
Climate change is currently the most pressing environmental concern, especially for northern climatic regions like Canada. Climate change impacts a wide variety of environmental factors that in turn alter vegetative processes, like that in cereal grains. As grain kernels weaken due to environmental stress it becomes increasingly susceptible to infection. This review will detail one such type of infection produced by fungi: mycotoxins. Mycotoxins come in several varieties of which five will be examined in this review: aflatoxin, ochratoxin, deoxynivalenol, fumonisins, and zearalenone. Mycotoxins cause many different types of illnesses ranging from gastrointestinal disruption to death. Since mycotoxins affect plants, all consumers are at a possible risk of infection, with the most vulnerable members of the population being children, due to their small body size. Therefore, this review will assess the impact of climate change on mycotoxin contamination in cereal grains and the implications for children’s health in a Canadian context.