Introduction to biotoxins

We have several HACCP tables. Below you see the HACCP variation table which we have composed concerning the subject ‘Other biotoxins’. Since this table is very extensive, we recommend using the download below to view the table properly.

What are biotoxins?

Marine biotoxins are produced by certain species of algae and can then accumulate in filter-feeding , such as mussels, scallops, and oysters. Consumption of contaminated shellfish can cause severe poisoning , such as memory loss, paralysis, diarrhoea, and vomiting.

Table: Possible biotoxins hazards

Name OriginFood The lethal dose (µg)Illness measurementsComments
Ciguatera poisoning (CFP)Single cell-based dinoflagellate: Gaberdiscus toxicus, living in tropical reefsFish that directly consumed plants or indirect through other fish.Neurotoxin: paralysis could result in death, however, the mortality is low (2-7%); illness could last long and the incubation time is around 30 hours. of tropic fish.The specific toxins involved are mainly ciguatoxin and maitotoxin.
ScombroidMicrobiologic degradation of histidine to histamine in fish.Mackerel fish (Mackerel, sardines and tuna).Allergic reaction. Incubation: 10-90 minutes.fish should be stored cold (below 10 °C).The is heat stable.
Amnesic-shellfish-poison (ASP)Algae (diatom from the Nitzschia pungens species).Accumulation in shellfish.Memory loss, sometimes lasting.Inhibit the growth of algae that can produce toxic components.The toxin is heat stable. Only on the American and Canadian east coast.
Paralytic-shellfish-poison (PSP) {paralysis}Algae (dinoflagellate)Accumulation in shellfish.500-5000 (humans). 0,3 ( die after 5-7 minutes)Toxin blocks nerve transmission Mortality: 1-20%. Incubation: 1-30 min.Inhibit the growth of algae that can produce toxic components.The toxin is heat stable. Algae is not located in the Dutch waters yet, although it can grow in temperate climates.
Diarrhetic-shellfish-poison (DSP)Algae (dinoflagellate).Accumulation in shellfish.50 (mild symptoms based on okadaic acid)Diarrhoea, stomachache, vomiting. Incubation time is between 30 min and several hours.Inhibit the growth of algae that can produce toxic components.The toxin is heat stable. Algae is incidentally encountered in Dutch waters.
Neurotoxic-shellfish-poison (NSP)Algae (dinoflagellate); high concentrations could colour the sea red (red tide).Accumulation in shellfish.10 (deadly for mice)Blocks nerve transmission. Rarely deadly. Incubation time is two minutes to several hours.Inhibit the growth of algae that can produce toxic components.The toxin is heat stable and endemic in Subtropical waters.
Biogenic-amine HistaminePlants, animals and microbesAlmost all food high in proteins. Histamine is formed from histidine by enzymes mainly from the Enterobacteriaceae.Influences physiological processes in the body. Consumption of biogenic amines could lead to poisoning. Symptoms: nausea, stuffiness, palpitations, eczema, unnatural blood pressure and headache.Often present in fish as histamine, a symptom similar to food poisoning.

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