Citrinin is a toxic fungal metabolite (mycotoxins) produced by some moulds of the genera Penicillium, Aspergillus and Monascus growing on certain food commodities, especially cereals and fruit.
It was one of the first mycotoxins to be isolated as a pure compound from a culture of Penicillium citrinum in 1931.
Citrinin exhibits a number of toxic effects in animals and its presence in food is undesirable. It is likely to degraded by heat and alkali.
Citrinin is a relatively small molecule (C13H14O5) an is slightly soluble in water. Citrinin often occurs in conjunction with ochratoxin A, another mycotoxins capable of altering renal function.
Citrinin causes kidney damage and mild liver damage in the form of fatty infiltration.
This is a yellow compound that is a phenol derivative. It is a lemon-yellow color when found on thin layer chromatograms viewed under visible light. The crystalline pure citrinin is also yellow.