Fungi belonging to Aspergillus section Nigri frequently occur on grapes. Some species within this section produce carcinogenic toxins including ochratoxin A and fumonisins (FB2, FB4) in grapes and grape-derived products.
The ability of Australian Aspergillus species associated with wine grapes to produce fumonisins has not been investigated to date. Furthermore, little is known about the fate of fumonisins during the fermentation process and their stability in wine.
Aspergillus section Nigri strains were isolated from Australian wine grapes to examine their potential to produce fumonisins. The fate of fumonisins during fermentation was studied using Chardonnay grapes inoculated with a fumonisin-producing Aspergillus isolate. The stability of fumonisins (FB2) in wine stored at 16°C was studied using white wine spiked with FB2 standard.
Data from this study demonstrate that fumonisins produced in grapes prior to harvest could potentially be passed on to wine and persist for several months.
The paper reproduced in this video-seminar was presented at the International Congress on Grapevine and Wine Sciences - ICGWS (Logroño, Spain, November 7-9, 2018) organized by ICVV.