Citrinin is a mycotoxin originally isolated from Penicillium citrinum. It has since been found to be produced by a variety of other fungi which are used in the production of human foods such as grain, cheese, sake and red pigments. It is a sometimes toxic byproduct of the fermentation process when making red yeast rice.
Citrinin acts as a nephrotoxin in all species in which it has been tested, but its acute toxicity varies. It causes mycotoxic nephropathy in livestock and has been implicated as a cause of Balkan nephropathy and yellow rice fever in humans.
Citrinin is produced by a variety of fungi including:
- Aspergillus niveus
- Aspergillus ochraceus
- Aspergillus oryzae
- Aspergillus terreus
- Monascus ruber
- Monascus purpureus
- Penicillium citrinum
- Penicillium camemberti
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