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Ochratoxin A

The mycotoxin (also called OTA) was first described in 1968. This fungal toxin is formed by various mould species such as Aspergillus (A. carbonarius, A. ochraceus) and Penicillium (P. verrucosum). Even the smallest amounts of it can cause severe adverse health effects, especially on the liver and kidneys. The poison is found in various foods such as beer, cereals, coffee and also wine. The toxin is especially formed in botrytised grapes due to insufficient vineyard care and lack of plant protection measures. Wines from warmer climates are more susceptible to it. It has been proven in noble sweet predicate wines from South-East Europe, South Africa and France. In 2005, the EU set the maximum permissible limit in wine and/or grape must base at 2 millionths of a gram per litre. Even simple measures such as racking, clarification, fining and filtration can greatly reduce OTA contents. Since 2011, the EU has approved chitin derivatives (enzymes) for use in combating chitin

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