American Journal of Food and Nutrition
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American Journal of Food and Nutrition. 2015, 3(1), 12-20
DOI: 10.12691/ajfn-3-1-3
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Implication of Aflatoxin Contamination in Agricultural Products

Ephrem Guchi1,

1Department of Applied Biology, Samara University, School of Natural and Computational Sciences, Samara, Ethiopia

Pub. Date: February 09, 2015

Cite this paper:
Ephrem Guchi. Implication of Aflatoxin Contamination in Agricultural Products. American Journal of Food and Nutrition. 2015; 3(1):12-20. doi: 10.12691/ajfn-3-1-3


Aflatoxins are secondary fungal metabolites that contaminate agricultural commodities and can cause sickness or death in humans and animals. Risk of aflatoxin contamination of food and feed in Africa is increased due to environmental, agronomic and socio-economic factors. Temperature, food substrate, strain of the mould and other environmental factors are some parameters that effect mycotoxin production. Preventing mycotoxin production at farm level is the best way to control mycotoxin contamination. Advances in molecular techniques and other decontamination methods such as gamma-irradiation and microwave heating could help to deal with these issues. Mycotoxins could be used as an energy source for a group of aerobic microorganisms, which are suitable to mycotoxin biodegradation. Several protocols have been provided to biodegrade mycotoxins in food and feed using potential bacteria such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. However, there are varieties of responses between different microorganisms against mycotoxins. For example, Bacillus brevis were not affected by high concentrations of trichothecene. Application of microorganisms needs to be evaluated from a safety point of view. Application of microorganisms on mycotoxin degradation, food and feed materials also need to be investigated. Further studies need to be conducted to address the seasonal variation of aflatoxin contamination in food and feed. Understanding the seasonal variation could help demonstrate and develop more effective decontamination methods. For example, it is postulated that mycotoxin issues due to monsoons in Hungary could possibly be concluded to technical difficulties in pre- and post-harvest operations. Application of advanced methods such as DNA biosensors and infrared spectroscopy for rapid and accurate detection of mycotoxin and related fungi is increasing dramatically. Application of new and advanced detection techniques could enable the agricultural industry to deal more effectively with the occurrence of aflatoxin contamination.

aflatoxin contamination agricultural products

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