aflatoxins


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Related to aflatoxins: ergotism, Ochratoxins

aflatoxins

(ăf`lətäk'sĭnz), a group of secondary metabolites that are cancer-causing byproducts of a mold that grows on nuts and grains, particularly peanuts. Although aflatoxin is most commonly produced when the potentially affected foods are improperly stored, recent studies have documented its production in the field, particularly if severe climatic changes occur or if the plants are attacked by insects. Most industrialized nations strictly regulate the aflatoxin level in human food. However, many of these products are used in animal feed, and if an animal consumes infected food, the aflatoxin passes to people in contaminated milk and meat products. Aflatoxin is a carcinogenic for certain animals, particularly cattle. Among humans, it is associated with liver cancer, particularly in Third World nations where malnutrition and other health problems are also prevalent.
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References in periodicals archive ?
According to the paper, chronic ingestion of aflatoxin in food products increases the risk of cervical cancer among women.
Long-term exposure to aflatoxin has documented negative health impacts.18 Moreover, many consumers chew and spit these products out in public spaces.
Patrick Kigen, a farmer in Nakuru, calls on Kebs to act on substandard feeds to save farmers and consumers."We also need to be educated as farmers and consumers on the danger of aflatoxins and the risks associated with them," says Kigen.
Aspergillus flavus is the main fungus that causes pre harvest aflatoxins contamination in field crops.
A total of 21 samples were obtained (3 samples of skimmed milk, 3 samples of cream, 6 samples of Infant milk formula, 3 samples of Cheddar and 3 samples of spread and 3 samples of slice and 3 samples of butter) randomly from the local markets of Tripoli, Libya and aflatoxin concentrations were determined by using enzyme linked immunosorband assay, ELISA (Ridascreen, aflatoxin [M.sub.1]).
Here's what one science scribe wrote of it: 'Aflatoxin is an incredibly powerful poison, and is harmful or even deadly at very low concentrations...[It] is like a secret agent, [an] expert at passing unnoticed but dangerous and licensed to kill.'
Therefore, cereal grains and other agro-industrial by-products, forming the basis of compounded feeds, may contain substantial quantities of aflatoxins before incorporation into the feeds (Gowda et al., 2008).
Human exposure to aflatoxins at level measured in nanograms and micrograms per day occur mostly through the consumption of maize and peanuts, staple foods in tropical countries.
Results showed that pulse light treatment using vibrating and conventional conveyors for 240 seconds at a 7-cm distance from the light source degraded aflatoxins by 60% and 44%, respectively.
It is thought that aflatoxins may play a role in up to 28% of all liver cancer cases globally.
The poison is called aflatoxin. It's an invisible substance produced by fungus that contaminates staple food and cash crops, mainly in the developing world.