Molds are common contaminants of dry-cured meat products in which mycotoxins could be synthesized if stored under favorable conditions. Thus, efficient and accurate characterization of the toxigenic molds from dry-cured meat products is necessary. A micellar electrokinetic capillary chromatography (MECC) method was tested to analyze secondary metabolites produced by 20 mold strains commonly found in dry-cured meat products. In addition, their random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) genotypes were determined by using a PCR method. Although peak profiles of the secondary metabolites differed among mold strains of different species, they were similar in the same species. MECC analysis showed that 10 of the 20 molds tested produced mycotoxins, including patulin, penicillic acid, cyclopiazonic acid, mycophenolic acid, aflatoxin B1, sterigmatocystin, and griseofulvin. The RAPD analysis yielded a different pattern for each of the mold species tested. However, strains of the same species showed similar RAPD profiles. A high correlation between RAPD analysis and MECC was observed, since strains of the same species that showed similar RAPD patterns had similar profiles of secondary metabolites. RAPD patterns with primer GO2 and MECC profiles, either singly or combined, could be of great interest to distinguish toxigenic from nontoxigenic molds in dry-cured meat products.

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Author notes

Present address: Nutrición y Bromatología, Escuela de Ingenierías Agrarias, Universidad de Extremadura, Badajoz, Spain.