Mould growth and mycotoxin production as affected by Equisetum arvense and Stevia rebaudiana extracts
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Cereals are very important for human and animal diet. However, agricultural products can be contaminated by moulds and their mycotoxins. On the other hand, natural plant products with antimicrobial properties could be a possibility to control mycotoxigenic fungi in foods and feeds. In this study, Equisetum
arvense and Stevia rebaudiana extracts were tested for their efficacy against a range of mycotoxigenic fungi. Maize agar medium (MAM 2%) was used for this study and E. arvense and S. rebaudiana extracts were added at different concentrations (1–3%) under different water activity (aw) levels (0.85–0.95). Six mycotoxigenic moulds were inoculated and incubated at different temperatures (15–30 °C) during 21 days. In general, no growth was observed with E. arvense extract at 3% in all studied conditions for all isolates. However, with S. rebaudiana extract at 2–3%, growth was not significantly decreased (p < 0.05) in most of the cases. Finally, in terms of toxin production, results were not conclusive. The use of E. arvense extracts as antifungals and antimycotoxigenics and their application should be further explored.