Applied Food Mycology
The presence of fungi in food has been both advantage and problems to food stores. Fungi can spoil large quantities of food and produce dangerous toxins that threaten human health; however, fungal spoilage in certain foods can produce a unique, highly prized food source and there are some very effective fungal derived medicines. A thorough understanding of the vast body of knowledge relating to food mycology requires an inclusive volume that covers both the beneficial and detrimental roles of fungi in our food supply. These include food groups such as bakery products, dairy products, beverages (e.g. fruit juices), dried fruits and nuts, and confectionary. Fungi can also present health risks by the production of specific toxic agents called mycotoxins, which are often poorly understood, but are being increasingly recognised as agents of both acute and chronic toxicity in humans and animals. This creates an opportunity in research towards the fungi and yeasts, and the problems they can cause in foods, in terms of spoilage and health effects. It will present a balanced view of the importance of these agents in the context of the modern food industry.