Open access

Occurrence of Aflatoxins in Food

Written By

Ayhan Filazi and Ufuk Tansel Sireli

Submitted: 04 March 2012 Published: 23 January 2013

DOI: 10.5772/51031

Chapter metrics overview

5,159 Chapter Downloads

View Full Metrics

1. Introduction

Mycotoxins are natural contaminants in raw materials, food and feeds [1]. Aflatoxins are toxic metabolites produced by different species of toxigenic fungi, called mycotoxins. The discovery of aflatoxins dates back to the year 1961 following the severe outbreak of turkey “X” disease, in the England, which resulted in the deaths of more than 100.000 turkeys and other farm animals. The cause of the disease was attributed to a feed using thin-layer chromatography (TLC) revealed that a series of fluorescent compounds, later termed aflatoxins, were responsible for the outbreak. The disease was linked to a peanut meal, incorporated in the diet, contaminated with a toxin produced by the filamentous fungus Aspergillus flavus. Hence, the name aflatoxins, an acronym, has been formed from the following combination: the first letter, “A” for the genus Aspergillus, the next set of three letters, “FLA”, for the species flavus, and the noun “TOXIN” meaning poison [2].

Aflatoxins (AFs) are difuranocoumarins produced primarily by two species of Aspergillus fungus which are especially found in areas with hot, humid climates. A. flavus is ubiquitous, favouring the aerial parts of plants (leaves, flowers) and produces B aflatoxins. A. parasiticus produces both B and G aflatoxins, is more adapted to a soil environment and has more limited distribution [3]. A. bombysis, A. ochraceoroseus, A. nomius, and A. pseudotamari are also AFs-producing species, but are encountered less frequently. From the mycological perspective, there are qualitative and quantitative differences in the toxigenic abilities displayed by different strains within each aflatoxigenic species. For example, only about half of A. flavus strains produce AFs-producing species more than 106 µg kg−1 [4].

Among the 18 different types of aflatoxins identified, the major members are aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), B2 (AFB2), G1 (AFG1), G2 (AFG2), M1 (AFM1) and M2 (AFM2). AFB1 is normally predominant in amount in cultures as well as in food products. Pure AFB1 is pale-white to yellow crystalline, odorless solid. AFs are soluble in methanol, chloroform, acetone, acetonitrile. A. flavus typically produces AFB1 and AFB2, whereas A. parasiticus produce AFG1 and AFG2 as well as AFB1 and AFB2. Four other aflatoxins M1, M2, B2A, G2A which may be produced in minor amounts were subsequently isolated from cultures of A. flavus and A. parasiticus. A number of closely related compounds namely aflatoxin GM1, parasiticol and aflatoxicol are also produced by A. flavus. The order of acute and chronic toxicity is AFB1 > AFG1 > AFB2 > AFG2, reflecting the role played by epoxidation of the 8,9-double bond and also the greater potency associated with the cyclopentenone ring of the B series, when compared with the six-membered lactone ring of the G series. AFM1 and AFM2 are hydroxylated forms of AFB1 and AFB2 [5]. AFM1 and AFM2 are major metabolites of AFB1 and AFB2 in humans and animals and may be present in milk from animals fed on AFB1 and AFB2 contaminated feed [6, 7]. AFM1 may be also present in egg [8], corn [9] and peanut [10, 11].

AFs interact with the basic metabolic pathways of the cell disrupting key enzyme processes including carbohydrate and lipid metabolism and protein synthesis [12]. The health effects of aflatoxins have been reviewed by a number of expert groups. Aflatoxins are among the most potent carcinogenic, teratogenic and mutagenic compounds in nature [13]. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has concluded that naturally occurring aflatoxins are carcinogenic to humans (group 1), with a role in etiology of liver cancer, notably among subjects who are carriers of hepatitis B virus surface antigens. In experimental animals there was sufficient evidence for carcinogenicity of naturally occurring mixtures of aflatoxins and of AFB1, AFG1 and AFM1, limited evidence for AFB2 and inadequate evidence for AFG2. The principal tumors were in the liver, although tumors were also found at other sites including the kidney and colon. AFB1 is consistently genotoxic in vitro and in vivo [3].

The Joint Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)/World Health Organization (WHO) Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) estimated potency values for AFB1 from the epidemiological data. These corresponded to 0.3 cancers/year per 100,000 population per ng aflatoxin/kg body weight (b.w). per day (uncertainty range: 0.05-0.5) in hepatitis B virus antigen positive individuals and 0.01 cancers/year per 100,000 population per ng aflatoxin/kg b.w. per day (uncertainty range: 0.002-0.03) in hepatitis B virus antigen negative individuals. AFM1 has been evaluated separately from AFB1 by the JECFA, because of its potential to be present in milk and milk products of livestock fed on aflatoxins contaminated feed [14]. The JECFA concluded that AFM1 should be presumed to induce liver cancer in rodents by a similar mechanism to AFB1, and that estimates of the potency of AFB1 can be used for determining the risk due to intake of AFM1, including those for populations with a high prevalence of carriers of hepatitis B virus. The carcinogenic potency of AFM1 was estimated to be one-tenth that of AFB1, based on a comparative study in the Fischer rat conducted by Cullen et al. [15].

Humans can be exposed to aflatoxins by the periodic consumption of contaminated food, contributing to an increase in nutritional deficiencies, immunosuppression and hepatocellular carcinoma. AFs have a wide occurrence in different kind of matrices, such as spices, cereals, oils, fruits, vegetables, milk, meat, etc. [5]. About 4.5 billion people, mostly in developing countries, are at risk of chronic exposure to aflatoxins from contaminated food crops [16]. Therefore, in order to avoid the toxicity, the levels of aflatoxins and similar toxic compounds in foodstuffs have to be monitored closely, and to be kept under control continuously. Otherwise, related health effects like acute and chronic intoxications, and even deaths, will still be an issue [17].

In this review, we are presenting a report on the situation of aflatoxin contamination in food and foodstuffs such as oilseeds (peanuts, almonds, pistachios and other tree nuts), cereals (wheat, barley, rice, corn, etc), spices, milk and dairy products and other foods of animal origin (meat, offal, eggs etc) in world. Incidence of contamination will classified as country and type of food and discussed. Also, we are reviewing the scientific literature on aflatoxins in foods and how they affect animal and human health.


2. Occurrence of Aflatoxin in Oilseeds

Oilseed crops are primarily soybeans, sunflower seed, canola, rapeseed, safflower, flaxseed, mustard seed, peanuts and cottonseed, used for the production of cooking oils, protein meals for livestock, and industrial uses. These specific oilseeds are eligible for nonrecourse loans. Other oilseed crops include castor beans and sesame. After extraction of the oil the residue is a valuable source of protein, especially for animal feeding stuffs, as in oil-seed cake or press cake. Oilseeds and their products are mainly consumed as snacks as well as part of the ingredients of certain dishes in human daily diet [18].

According to many reports (Table 1), peanuts are the main susceptible products for aflatoxin contamination [19-21]. Tree nuts such as almonds, walnuts, and pistachios may be contaminated with aflatoxin, though at lower levels than for cottonseed and corn; however, the problem is very significant to producers because: (1) the crop has a high unit value, and (2) much of the crop is sold to European markets that enforce limits significantly lower than those in some countries [22].

For over all sanitary precaution, the European Union has enacted in 1998, very severe aflatoxin tolerance standards of 2 μg kg-1 AFB1 and 4 μg kg-1 total aflatoxins for nuts and cereals for human consumption and this has come into effect from January, 2001. Consumers in the developed world are well aware of the carcinogenic effect of aflatoxins and will thus stay away from a product that has aflatoxin beyond the acceptance level. Exports of agricultural products particularly groundnuts and other oilseeds from developing countries have dropped considerately in recent years resulting in major economic losses to producing countries as a result of this restriction. According to the World Bank estimate, the policy change by the European Union will reduce by 64%, imports of cereals, dried fruits, oil seeds and nuts from nine African countries namely Chad, Egypt, Gambia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan and Zimbabwe and this will cost African countries about US $670 million in trade per year. However, the new rule of the EU has been criticized as being too stringent. There is the need for mycotoxin surveillance because of its wide occurrence in contaminated commodities [23].

Aflatoxin contamination of peanut, resulting from invasion by A. flavus or A. parasiticus, is a major problem in semi-arid tropical regions where plants are primarily rain-fed. Light sandy soils, where peanut is typically cultivated, favor these fungi. While A. flavus infection of peanuts does not affect yield, the fungus can produce high levels of aflatoxin in infected nuts, and these toxins can pose serious health risks to humans and animals [24]. The environmental conditions required to induce pre-harvest aflatoxin contamination of peanuts were studied. In the study, peanuts did not become contaminated with aflatoxins in the absence of severe and prolonged drought stress even when the frequency of infection by A. flavus and A. parasiticus was up to 80%. Also, larger, more mature peanut kernels required considerably more drought stress to become contaminated than did smaller, immature kernels [25]. Peanuts become infected with aflatoxigenic fungus when seed pods come into direct contact with aflatoxigenic fungus in soil. These fungi can invade and produce toxins in peanut kernels before harvest, during drying, and in storage [26].

Dried fruits can be contaminated with aflatoxins. Maximum permitted levels for total aflatoxins in the European Union are 4 μg kg−1 in dried fruit intended for direct human consumption. AFB1 was the most common mycotoxin encountered as a natural contaminant in stored samples [25].

Food Type Country Contaminated/ Total examined Aflatoxin Concentration (ppb) Method Reference
Peanut Argentina 2/50 AFB1
435-625 for AFB1
83-625 for AFG1
TLC [19]
Peanut Botswana 94/120 Totala 12-329 ELISA [20]
Peanut China 2/16 AFB1+AFB2 1.96 (mean) UHPLC [21]
Peanut Malaysia 11/13 AFB1 1.47-15.33 ELISA [27]
Peanut China 15/65 Totala 0.03-28.39 HPLC [28]
Fresh Peanuts China 14/35 Totala 0.3-7.4 UHPLC-MS/MS [10]
Musty Peanuts China 5/5 Totalb 1.2-1482 UHPLC-MS/MS [10]
Peanut and products Trinidad 0/186 AFB1 NDc Charm II [29]
Peanut and products Brazil 41/80 Totala 43-1099 TLC [30]
Peanut butter China 41/50 AFB1 <LODd-68.51 HPLC [31]
Peanut butter Sudan 120/120 AFB1 17-170 Fluorometer [32]
Peanut butters China 31/33 Totale 0.7-96 UHPLC-MS/MS [10]
Pistachio Turkey 48/95 Totala 0.007-7.72 HPLC [33]
Pistachio Iran 3699/10068 AFB1 5.9 ± 41.7 (Mean) HPLC [34]
Hazelnut Egypt 18/20 Totala 25-175 TLC [35]
Walnut Egypt 15/20 Totala 15-25 TLC [35]
Walnut China 31/48 Totala 0.02-1.20 HPLC [28]
Hazelnut Turkey 43/51 Totala <0.625-10 ELISA [36]
Cacao hazelnut cream Turkey 38/40 Totala <0.625-10 ELISA [36]
Unsorted, in-shell almonds California, USA 10/74 Totala 1-107 TLC [37]
Diced almonds California, USA 13/27 Totala <LOD-119 TLC [37]
Sesame Malaysia 7/8 AFB1 0.54-1.82 ELISA [27]
Sesame paste China 37/100 AFB1 <LOD-20.45 HPLC [31]
Sunflower Malaysia 6/7 AFB1 1.14-5.33 ELISA [27]
Nuts Malaysia 2/7 AFB1 0.66-1.09 ELISA [27]
Pine nut China 2/12 Totala 0.19-0.25 HPLC [28]
Dried apricot Iran 9/30 AFB1 "/0.2 HPLC [38]
Prune Iran 2/15 AFB1 "/0.2 HPLC [38]
a. Total: AFB1+ AFB2+ AFG1+ AFG2
b. Total AFs including AFM1 (ND-64.7 ppb) and AFM2 (ND-3.6 ppb)
c. ND: Not detected
d. LOD: Limit of detection
e. Total AFs including AFM1 (ND-4.2 ppb) and AFM2 (ND-1.8)

Table 1.

Aflatoxins in oilseeds.


3. Occurrence of Aflatoxin in Cereals

Cereals and its products are the main foods for human consumption throughout the world. The cereal grains belong to corn, rice, barley, wheat and sorghum are found susceptible to AFs accumulation by aflatoxigenic fungus. The problem of aflatoxins occurring naturally in cereals, especially in rice and corn, has become troublesome because of changing agricultural technology. The aflatoxin problem in cereals is not restricted to any geographic or climatic region. Toxins are produced on cereals, both in the field and in storage; they involve both the grain and the whole plant [39].

Our results showed that rice was significantly more heavily colonized by aflatoxin-producing Aspergillus spp. than other cereals, with overall aflatoxin levels being correspondingly higher. But this may be caused by the variations in cultivars used. Additionally, corn is the second susceptible after rice for aflatoxin accumulation by A. fungus (Table 2).

Rice and sorghum are the most important staple food crops in many countries. In these countries, the majority of rice is grown in the rainy season. During the rainy season, sun drying of rice, which is practiced by most farmers, may not reduce the moisture content of grains sufficiently to prevent growth of fungi. As a result, rice grains with a moisture content higher than the desired level (>14%) may enter the storage system. The harmful effects of such fungal invasion are discoloration of the grain and/ or husk, loss in viability, loss of quality, and toxin contamination. Sorghum is grown in harsh environments where other crops do not grow well. Improvements in production, availability, storage, utilization, and consumption of this food crop will significantly contribute to the household food security and nutrition of the inhabitants of these areas. Sorghum is typically harvested as early as possible so that fields can quickly be planted with another crop. Sometimes the sorghum harvest coincides with heavy rainfall, hurricanes, and floods, all of which promote infection by mycotoxin-producing fungi [25].

As it is known, the consumption of large amounts of AFs contaminated food by starving people can cause toxic hepatitis (jaundice) and death. Aflatoxin epidemics were reported from India, in 1975 among the Bhils (the largest and most widely distributed tribal group in India), who had consumed corn heavily contaminated with A. flavus. The epidemic was characterized by jaundice, rapidly developing ascites, and portal hypertension. Approximately 400 persons were affected by the epidemic [40].

Food Type Country Contaminated/ Total examined Aflatoxin Concentration (ppb) Method Reference
Rice India 814/1200 AFB1 0.1-308 ELISA [25]
Rice India 581/1511 AFB1 "/5 HPTLC [41]
Rice Iran 59/71 Totala 2.097-10.94 HPLC [42]
Rice Canada 99/199 AFB1 <0.002-7.1 HPLC [43]
Rice Sweden 57/99 Totala 0.1-50.7 HPLC [44]
Rice China 23/74 Totala 0.15-3.88 HPLC [28]
Rice Japan 0/48 Totala NDb HPLC [45]
Rice Nigeria 21/21 Totala 27.7-371.9 HPLC [46]
Rice Turkey 56/100 Totala 0.05-21.4 ELISA [47]
Rice Tunisia 2/16 Totala 2.0-7.5 ELISA [48]
Rice Tunisia 0/11 Totala NDb HPLC [49]
Rice Malaysia 9/13 AFB1 0.68-3.79 ELISA [27]
Corn Tunisia 1/17 Totala 0.42 HPLC [49]
Corn Malaysia 6/8 AFB1 1.75-8.95 ELISA [27]
Corn Brazilian 82/214 AFB1 0.2-129 ELISA [50]
Corn China 4/18 Totala 5.67 (mean) UHPLC [21]
Corn China 52/84 Totala 0.02-1098 HPLC [28]
Corn Tunisia 9/21 Totala 2.9-12.5 ELISA [48]
Corn flour Morocco 16/20 AFB1 0.23-11.2 HPLC [51]
Wheat Ethiopia 5/120 AFB1 <1.0-12.3 HPLC [52]
Wheat Tunisia 15/51 Totala 4.0-12.9 ELISA [48]
Wheat Tunisia 10/46 Totala 0.15-18.6 HPLC [49]
Wheat Malaysia 9/14 AFB1 0.55-5.07 ELISA [27]
Wheat India 663/1646 AFB1 "/5 ELISA [41]
Wheat flour Morocco 3/17 AFB1 0.03-0.15 HPLC [51]
Sorghum Tunisia 36/49 Totala 0.4-25.8 HPLC [49]
Sorghum Ethiopia 5/82 AFB1 <1.0-25.9 HPLC [52]
Sorghum India 1173/1606 AFB1 0.01-263.98 ELISA [53]
Sorghum Tunisia 13/17 Totala 1.7-67.0 ELISA [48]
Barley Tunisia 2/46 Total 0.6-0.8 HPLC [49]
Barley Ethiopia 13/115 AFB1 <1.0-11.7 HPLC [52]
Barley Tunisia 11/25 Total 3.5-11.5 ELISA [48]
Oat Malaysia 5/10 AFB1 0.65-2.85 ELISA [27]
Cereals Ethiopia 31/352 AFB1 <LOD-26 HPLC [52]
a. Total: AFB1+ AFB2+ AFG1+ AFG2
b. ND: Not detected

Table 2.

Aflatoxins in cereals.


4. Occurrence of Aflatoxin in Spices

The popularity of hot peppers (Capsicum annuum L.), also known as chili peppers, as spices or vegetables and for other uses increases every year. Powdered red pepper is one of the favorite spices in South Asia and is commonly used for flavoring, seasoning, and imparting aroma or coloring to foods. Hot peppers are the principal component of curry and chili powder and can be used to make pepper sauce, red pepper, and paprika [54].

Spices are often contaminated with mycotoxins (Table 3). The climatic conditions prevailing in the tropics are especially favorable for mold contamination and mycotoxin production. Of the different mycotoxins, aflatoxin is the commonest contaminant in spices [55].

Peppers are very susceptible to aflatoxin contamination, which is affected by atmospheric temperature, humidity, insects, and drying and processing conditions. Mold contamination can occur in the field during crop production and during storage when conditions are favorable. Sun drying is a common postharvest practice in some countries, which involves spreading peppers on soil in a single layer. Because of the drying processes are on the soil, some peppers are contaminated with fungus [54, 56].

Substantial aflatoxin contamination of ground red pepper has been reported from Ethiopia, where eight of 60 samples collected from markets, shops and storage facilities were contaminated with AFB1 in concentrations of 250-525 µg kg-1 [57]. In Turkey, 24% and 13% of samples of different pepper types contained 7.5-200 [58] and 1.1-97.5 µg kg-1 [56] total aflatoxins, respectively. Elshafie et al. [59] were surveyed one hundred and five samples of seven spices (cumin, cinnamon, clove, black pepper, cardamom, ginger, and coriander) for the mycoflora and AFs in the Sultanate of Oman. Twenty fungal species were isolated in which A. flavus, A. niger. Penicillium, Rhizopus, and Syncephalastrum racemosum were the most dominant. Of the seven spices studied, clove was found to be the least contaminated, while cumin was the most contaminated. None of the 15 selected samples of the spices contaminated by A. flavus were found to contain AFs [59]. Cooking revealed that the aflatoxin content of spices did not decrease [60].

Although the mold A. flavus grows well on the spices, the production of AFs is lower than in cereals. This indicates that spices are not an ideal substrate for AF formation. It has been shown that essential oils extracted from spices, e.g. cloves, can inhibit mold growth and AF production completely. According to some reports, fungal growth was weak on curcumin, black pepper and white pepper and no AF was detected in black or white pepper after 10 days at 25 °C. According Martins et al. [61], the results of the survey indicate that there is little evidence for significant AF contamination in spices. The majority of samples contained AFs at low levels and others were negative (cardamom, cloves, ginger and mustard). In the meat industry (sausage, dry cured ham, luncheon meat) and in confection of ethnic dishes, AF contamination of spices is probably not relevant as a direct health hazard [61].

Food Type Country Contaminated/ Total examined Aflatoxin Concentration (ppb) Method Reference
Pepper Turkey 12/90 Totala 1.1-97.5 TLC [56]
Pepper Turkey 12/49 Totala 7.5-200 TLC [58]
Pepper Malaysia 4/4 AFB1 0.65-2.1 ELISA [27]
Ground red pepper Turkey 33/164 Totala "/5 HPLC [33]
Ground red pepper Ethiopia 8/60 AFB1 250-525 ELISA [57]
Paprika Spain 8/17 Totala 1.8-50.4 HPLC [62]
Smoked Paprika Spain 4/4 Totala 22.3-83.7 HPLC [62]
Chilli Malaysia 8/8 AFB1 0.58-3.5 ELISA [27]
Chilli Spain 6/11 Totala 1.9-65.7 HPLC [62]
Cumin Malaysia 2/3 AFB1 1.89-4.64 ELISA [27]
Spices Hungary 23/91 AFB1 0.14-15.7 HPLC [55]
Spices Portuqual 34/79 AFB1 1.0-59.0 HPLC [61]
a. Total: AFB1+ AFB2+ AFG1+ AFG2

Table 3.

Aflatoxins in spices.


5. Occurrence of Aflatoxin in Milk and Dairy Products

Most of AFB1 and AFB2 ingested by mammals are eliminated through urine and faeces, however a fraction is biotransformed in the liver and excreted together with milk in the form of AFM1 and AFM2, respectively. AFM1 could be detected in milk 12-24 h after the first AFB1 ingestion, reaching a high level after a few days. The ratio between AFB1 ingested and AFM1 excreted has been estimated to be 1-3% [5].

The system responsible for the biotransformation of AFB1 basically has five mechanisms, represented by reactions of reduction, hydration, epoxidation, hydroxylation and ortho-demethylation. The aflatoxicol is produced by reduction of AFB1 by an NADPH-dependent cytoplasmic enzyme present in the soluble fraction of the liver. The toxicity of aflatoxicol is apparently much smaller than AFB1, but the conversion is reversible and the aflatoxicol can serve as a reservoir toxicity of AFB1 in the intracellular space, it can be converted in this mycotoxin by microsomal dehydrogenase. The aflatoxicol can also be metabolized to AFM1 and AFH1. The hydration process results in a metabolite AFB2a. This compound has the main action the inhibition of enzymes, in the liver and other tissues, causing a reduction in proteic synthesis AFM1 and AFQ1 are results of hydroxylation reaction of AFB1. These compounds have a hydroxyl group, allowing their conjugation with glucuronic acid, sulfate and glutathione, making them very water-soluble substances that can be excreted in the bile, urine and milk. Most of the aflatoxins are excreted between 72 to 96 h after the exposure, with the liver and the kidney retaining the waste for a longer period compare to other tissues [63].

A tolerable daily intake of 0.2 ng kg-1 b.w. for AFM1 was calculated by Kuiper-Goodman [64] and this toxin has been categorized by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as a class 2B toxin, a possible human carcinogen. In the assessment of cancer risk, the infants are more exposed to the risk because the milk is a major constituent of their diet. It must be also considered that young animals have been found to be more susceptible to AFB1 (and so probably AFM1) than adults. Therefore the presence of AFM1 in milk and milk products is considered to be undesirable [65].

The carcinogenicity of AFM1 may be influenced by the duration and level of exposure. Exposure is most likely to occur through the frequent consumption of milk and milk by-products (infant milk, cheese, butter, yoghurt). Several studies in different countries have reported high or low contamination levels of AFM1 in different categories of milk and dairy samples. These significantly variable AFM1 levels may be due to several influencing factors such as cheese manufacturing procedures and storage, types of cheese, conditions of cheese ripening, analytical methods and finally the geographical and seasonal effects [6].

The concentration of AFM1 is relatively increased in cheese samples because of its affinity to proteins. During cheese making, AFM1 can be decreased in cheese by increasing renneting temperature from 30 to 40°C, decreasing cutting size of curd and increasing press time from 1 to 2 h, which causes more loss of AFM1 in the whey [66]. On a weight basis, however, AFM1 concentration in cheese actually increases. In soft cheese, it becomes 2.5 to 3.3 times higher and in hard cheese, 3.9 to 5.8 times higher than in the milk from which the cheeses were made. Converting milk that may contain aflatoxin into a cheese, such as feta cheese, reduces the exposure of the consumer to this toxin. During pasteurization of milk, about 90% or more of the AFM1 is retained in the milk but during cheese manufacturing, there is a partitioning of AFM1 between the cheese, whey, and brine. During cheese manufacturing, results on the distribution of AFM1 between curd and whey can be variable. This variability has been associated with the type of cheese, the particular cheese-making process applied, the type and degree of milk contamination, and the analytical method employed. Lopez et al. [67] manufactured cheese using artificially AFM1 contaminated milk and found that the greatest proportion of toxin (60%) was in whey, while 40% AFM1 remained in cheese. Some researchers also reported that the greatest proportion of AFM1 was in the curd ranging between 66-80% [68]. About 37% of the AFM1 in milk is lost from the cheese into the whey, and another 30% diffuses from the cheese into brining solution during storage. Thus, the amount that would be ingested in a 30 g serving of cheese made from milk containing 500 ng AFM1/L would be only 35 ng AFM1 compared to 125 ng AFM1 from a 250 g serving of fluid milk. Thus, consumers in a region where there are high aflatoxin levels in milk would be at less health risk if the milk is pasteurized and converted into a cheese such as feta or other white pickled cheese before it is delivered to the consumer [69]. Applebaum et al. [70] reported that AFM1 concentration in cheese was about four times higher than the cheese milk. The increase in AFM1 concentration in cheese has been explained by the affinity of AFM1 for casein.

The Commission of the European Communities established a limit for AFM1 of 50 ng kg-1 for milk and a variable limit for cheese, depending on concentration caused by drying process or processing. Milk containing AFM1 concentrations above the action level must be discarded, causing significant economic loss for the dairy producer. Similar regulations exist in most developed countries.

In this Regulation the Commission stated that ‘‘even if AFM1 is regarded as a less dangerous genotoxic carcinogenic substance than AFB1, it is necessary to prevent the presence in milk, and consequently in milk products, intended for human consumption and for young children in particular’’. The Commission has also set a limit for AFB1 of 5 µg kg-1 for supplementary feedstuffs for lactating dairy cattle. However this tolerance level is difficult to observe because the average daily individual intake in a herd should be limited to 40 µg AFB1 per cow, in order to produce milk with less than 50 ng AFM1 per kg [65].

Many factors may affect the formation of aflatoxins in animal feeds. Geographic and climate changes can affect the farm management practices and feed quality. These effects can lead to the wide variations in AFM1 levels in milk (Table 4). The preserved fodder such as silage and hay might have been contaminated by aflatoxin producing fungi and the improper storage led to aflatoxin production. The level of AFM1 in feed in rainy seasons is more than in dry seasons. It can be also probable to use higher amounts of contaminated concentrates in the cold months [71].

Food Type Country Contaminated/ Total examined Aflatoxin Concentration (ppb) Method Reference
Raw Milka Italy 125/161 AFM1 <0.023 HPLC [72]
Raw Milka Greece 40/58 AFM1 0.005-0.055 HPLC [73]
Raw Milka North African 35/49 AFM1 0.03-3.13 HPLC [74]
Raw Milka Italy ?/310 AFM1 0.002-0.09 HPLC [75]
Raw Milka Trinidad 13/212 AFM1 NMa Charm II [29]
Raw Milka Slovenia 0/60 AFM1 NDb HPLC [76]
Raw Milka Indonesia 65/113 AFM1 5-25 ELISA [77]
Raw Milka China 12/12 AFM1 0.16-0.5 ELISA [78]
Raw Milka Croatia NMa/61 (one sample exceeded limit EU) AFM1 0.0006-0.059 ELISA [79]
Raw Milka Turkey 43/50 AFM1 <0.03 ELISA [80]
Raw Milka Iran 60/60 AFM1 2.0-64.0 HPLC [81]
Raw Milka Pakistan 177/232 AFM1 0.002-1.9 ELISA [82]
Raw Milka Pakistan 63/120 AFM1 0.004-0.174 HPLC [83]
Raw Milka Syria 70/74 AFM1 0.02-0.69 ELISA [84]
Raw Milka South Korea 48/100 AFM1 0.002-0.08 HPLC [85]
Raw Milka Portugal 25/31 AFM1 <0.005-0.05 HPLC [86]
Raw Milka Iran 128/128 AFM1 0.031-0.113 ELISA [87]
Raw Milka Iran 117/140 AFM1 <0.01-0.10 ELISA [88]
Raw Milka Spain 3/92 AFM1 0.014-0.019 HPLC [89]
Buffalo raw milk Pakistan 153/360 AFM1 0.002-0.087 HPLC [83]
Pasteurized milka Greece 113/136 AFM1 0.005-0.05 HPLC [73]
Pasteurized milka Morrocco 47/54 AFM1 0.001-0.117 HPLC [51]
Pasteurized milka Brazil 7/10 AFM1 0.01-0.02 HPLC [90]
Pasteurized milka Iran 83/116 AFM1 0.006-0528 ELISA [91]
Pasteurized milka Iran 624/624 AFM1 0.045-0.08 ELISA [92]
Pasteurized milka Syria 10/10 AFM1 0.008-0.765 ELISA [84]
Pasteurized milka Iran 48/48 AFM1 0.01-0.10 ELISA [88]
Pasteurized milka Brazil 58/79 AFM1 0.05-0.24 HPLC [93]
Milka (Raw, pasteurized and powder) Argentina 18/77 AFM1 0.01-0.03 ELISA [94]
UHT Milka Greece 14/17 AFM1 0.005-0.05 HPLC [73]
UHT Milka Turkey 75/129 AFM1 Max.0.54 ELISA [95]
UHT Milka Turkey 67/100 AFM1 0.01-0.63 ELISA [96]
UHT Milka Brazil 40/40 AFM1 0.010-0.5 HPLC [90]
UHT Milka Turkey 50/50 AFM1 0.01-0.244 ELISA [7]
UHT Milka Iran 116/210 AFM1 0.012-0.249 ELISA [97]
UHT Milka Iran 68/109 AFM1 0.006-0.516 ELISA [91]
UHT Milka Brazil 53/60 AFM1 0.015-0.5 HPLC [93]
UHT Milka Iran 48/48 AFM1 0.01-0.10 ELISA [88]
UHT Milka Turkey 14/24 AFM1 <0.01-0.05 HPLC [98]
UHT-whole milk Portugal 17/18 AFM1 <0.005-0.059 HPLC [86]
UHT-semi skimmed milk Portugal 20/22 AFM1 <0.005-0.061 HPLC [86]
UHT-skimmed milk Portugal 23/30 AFM1 <0.005-0.02 HPLC [86]
UHT-Pasteurized milk Japan 207/208 AFM1 0.001-0.029 HPLC [99]
Ewe’s milk Greece 19/27 AFM1 0.005-0.055 HPLC [73]
Ewe’s milk Greece 27/54 AFM1 <0.005-0.182 ELISA [100]
Ewe’s milk Syria 13/23 AFM1 0.006-0.634 ELISA [84]
Goat milk Greece 12/20 AFM1 0.005-0.05 HPLC [73]
Goat milk Syria 7/11 AFM1 0.008-0.054 ELISA [84]
Milk (ewe, goat and buffalo mix) Italy 85/102 AFM1 0.05-0.25 ELISA [101]
Infant milk food, Milk based cereal, weaning food, infant formula and liquid milk India 76/87 AFM1 0.063-1.012 ELISA [102]
Milk powder Brazil 72/75 AFM1 0.01-0.5 HPLC [90]
Milk powder China 15/15 AFM1 Max 0.54 ELISA [78]
Milk powder Syria 1/8 AFM1 0.012 ELISA [84]
Milk powder South Korea 17/24 AFM1 0.083-0.342 HPLC [103]
Cheeseb Iran 66/80 AFM1 0.15-2.41 TLC [104]
Cheeseb China 4/4 AFM1 0.16-0.32 ELISA [78]
Cheeseb Lebanon 75/111 AFM1 0.056-0.315 ELISA [105]
Cheeseb Iran 30/50 AFM1 0.041-0.374 ELISA [106]
Cheeseb Brazil 39/58 AFM1 0.01-0.304 IAC/LC [107]
Cheeseb North African 15/20 AFM1 0.11-0.52 HPLC [74]
Cheeseb Turkey 14/20 AFM1 <0.155 ELISA [80]
Cheeseb Turkey 10/200 AFM1 0.1-0.6 ELISA [108]
Cheeseb Iran 93/116 AFM1 0.052-0.745 ELISA [109]
Cheeseb Turkey 82/100 AFM1 <0.05-0.8 ELISA [110]
Cheeseb Turkey 36/127 AFM1 0.07-0.77 ELISA [111]
White brined cheeseb Turkey 31/50 AFM1 0.1-5.2 Fluorometri [112]
White brined cheeseb Turkey 159/193 AFM1 0.052-0.86 ELISA [113]
Herby cheeseb Turkey 52/60 AFM1 0.16-7.26 Fluorometri [112]
Cream cheeseb Turkey 44/49 AFM1 Max 0.25 ELISA [36]
Cream cheeseb Turkey 8/200 AFM1 0.1-0.7 ELISA [108]
Cream cheeseb Turkey 99/100 AFM1 0.01-4.1 ELISA [114]
Cream cheeseb Iran 68/94 AFM1 58.3-785.4 ELISA [109]
Kashar cheeseb Turkey 47/53 AFM1 "/0.25 ELISA [36]
Kashar cheeseb Turkey 12/200 AFM1 0.12-0.8 ELISA [108]
Kashar cheese Turkey 8/28 AFM1 <0.37 ELISA [80]
Kashar cheeseb Turkey 109/132 AFM1 0.05-0.69 ELISA [96]
Kashar cheeseb Turkey 85/100 AFM1 0.05-0.80 ELISA [110]
Tulum cheeseb Turkey 16/20 AFM1 <0.378 ELISA [80]
Tulum cheeseb Turkey 81/100 AFM1 0.05-0.80 ELISA [110]
Ewe’s cheese Turkey 14/50 AFM1 0.02-2.0 TLC [6]
Dairy drinks Brazil 10/12 AFM1 0.01-0.05 IAC/LC [107]
Milk products China 66/104 AFM1 Max 0.5 ELISA [78]
Butter Turkey 92/92 AFM1 0.01-7.0 ELISA [114]
Butter Turkey 25/27 AFM1 Max 0.1 ELISA [36]
Butter Turkey 66/80 AFM1 0.01-0.12 ELISA [115]
Yoghurt Brazil 49/65 AFM1 0.01-0.529 IAC/LC [107]
Yoghurt Italy 73/120 AFM1 <0.032 HPLC [72]
Yoghurt Turkey 68/104 AFM1 <0.1 ELISA [116]
Yoghurt South Korea 31/60 AFM1 0.017-0.124 HPLC [103]
Yoghurt Portugal 2/48 AFM1 0.043-0.045 HPLC [117]
Fruit yoghurt Portugal 16/48 AFM1 0.019-0.098 HPLC [117]
Fruit yogurt Turkey 7/21 AFM1 <0.1 ELISA [115]
Strained yoghurt Turkey 29/52 AFM1 <0.15 ELISA [116]
Yogurt (whole fat) Turkey 18/25 AFM1 <0.069 ELISA [80]
Yoghurt (Semi fat) Turkey 10/25 AFM1 <0.078 ELISA [80]
Infant formula South Korea 18/26 AFM1 0.032-0.132 HPLC [103]
Infant formula Iran 116/120 AFM1 0.001-0.014 ELISA [87]
Dairy dessert Turkey 26/50 AFM1 <0.08 ELISA [80]
a.Cow milk, b. Cow cheese

Table 4.

Aflatoxins in milk and dairy products.


6. Occurrence of Aflatoxin in Other Foods of Animal Origin

Meat refers to meat flesh, skeletal muscles, connective tissue or fat and others than meat flesh, including brain, heart, kidney, liver, pancreas, spleen, thymus, tongue and tripe that is used as food, excluding the bone and bone marrow and it contains high biological value protein and important micronutrients that are needed for good health throughout life. Residues of aflatoxins and their metabolites could be present in the meat, offal and eggs of animals receiving aflatoxin contaminated feeds (Table 5). In addition to the economic losses, aflatoxin in feeds could pose a risk to human health because of ingestion of aflatoxin containing foods derived from the animals fed the toxin-contaminated diet [118].

Cytochrome P450 enzymes (CYP) (including CYP1A2, CYP3A4 and CYP2A6) in the liver and other tissues convert AFB1 to epoxides (AFB1-8,9-exo-epoxide, and AFB1-8,9-endo-epoxide), and to AFM1, AFP1, AFQ1, and its reduced form aflatoxicol. Of the epoxides, the AFB1-8,9-exo-epoxide can form covalent bonds with DNA and serum albumin resulting in AFB1-N7-guanine and lysine adducts, respectively. Like AFB1, AFM1 can also be activated to form AFM1-8,9-epoxide that binds to DNA resulting in AFM1-N7-guanine adducts. These guanine and lysine adducts have been noted to appear in urine. The metabolites AFP1, AFQ1, and aflatoxicol are thought to be inactive and are excreted as such in urine, or in the form of glucuronyl conjugates from bile in feces [119].

When chicken exposed to AFB1 with contaminated rations, AFB1, AFM1, and aflatoxicol have been detected in liver, kidneys, and thigh muscles. Besides these, AFB2a has also been detected in livers of both broilers and layers on a ration contaminated with a mixture of aflatoxins [120]. In laying hens the effects of exposure to AF are a dose-dependent decrease in egg production and egg quality with increased susceptibility to salmonellosis, candidiasis, and coccidiosis. AFs and some of their metabolites can be carried over from feed to eggs in ratios ranging from 5,000:1 to 66,200:1 and even to 125,000:1, whereas in other trials no measurable residual AFB1 or its metabolites were found in eggs. These contrasting results may be ascribed to the administration of naturally contaminated feeds containing different AF with different levels of toxicity [8].

Wolzak et al. [121] have reported that tissue residues of aflatoxins were highest in kidney, gizzard, and liver (average concentration 3 μg kg-1 mass) when broilers were exposed for 4 weeks to a mixture of AFB1 and AFB2. After 7 days of removal of the contaminated feed, aflatoxin residues could not be detected in above tissues. Hussain et al. [120] also indicated that the elimination of AFB1 in chicken increased during longer exposure to AFB1. They fed broiler chicks on rations containing 0, 1.6, 3.2, and 6.4 μg AFB1/kg for 7, 14, or 28 day’s age. After 2 to 3 days of exposure, AFB1 could be detected in livers of the birds exposed to 1.6 μg AFB1/kg and higher dietary levels of the toxin. After cessation of toxin feeding, AFB1 residues decreased in livers and muscles of all the chicks, with lower levels at 10 days post-cessation in the chicks exposed to higher toxin levels. They concluded that the residues of AFB1 in tissues increase with increase in dietary concentration of the toxin but decrease with increase in age (or after longer exposure) of broiler chicks. The elimination of AFB1 from tissues was rapid in older birds than in younger birds [120].

Poultry birds fed AF contaminated rations under experimental conditions resulted in the presence of AF residues in their edible tissues like liver and muscles. Residues of AFB1 in liver of broiler and layer birds have been reported to vary from no detection to 3.0 µg kg-1 by feeding 250-3310 µg kg-1 AFB1 for variable periods [118, 119]. The wide variations in the tissue AF residue concentration suggested that these levels might be influenced by different factors including dietary AF levels, duration of administration, age, type of the birds etc. However, effect of such factors upon concentration of AFB1 residues in poultry meat (liver and muscles) and clearance of AFB1 from the body tissues after withdrawal of dietary AF have not been adequately studied [120].

Dietary contamination of aflatoxins pose a big risk to human health including acute aflatoxicosis, Hepatocellular carcinoma, hepatitis B virus infection, growth impairment in different regions of the World particularly Asian and African countries [122]. European community and many other countries have imposed 2 µg kg-1 AFB1 as maximum tolerance level in human food products. Birds fed Afs, following ingestion are rapidly metabolized into nontoxic substances in the body. A rapid decrease in AFB1 residues below the tolerance limits from the muscles and liver within 3 and 7 days of withdrawal of dietary AFB1 and that it may not become a significant human health risk. However, in areas with no regulatory limits on AFB1 levels of poultry feed, the secondary exposure to aflatoxins through consumption of chicken liver and meat derived from the poultry fed AF contaminated feed may pose a risk to consumers health [123].

Food Type Country Contaminated/ Total examined Aflatoxin Concentration (ppb) Method Reference
Chicken Liver Thailand 248/450 AFB1 Mean 0.6092 HPLC [118]
Chicken Muscle Thailand 96/450 AFB1 Mean 0.0451 HPLC [118]
Meat Jordan 12/50 Totala 0.15-8.32 HPLC [124]
Fresh Fish Egypt 10/30 Totala 22-70.5 Florometric [125]
Salted fish Egypt 12/30 Totala 18.5-50 Florometric [125]
Smoked Fish Egypt 8/30 Totala 32-96 Florometric [125]
Egg Jordan 5/40 Totala 0.01-6.15 HPLC [124]
Processed egg Saudi Arabia 0/25 Totala NDb ELISA [126]
Unwashed egg Saudi Arabia 3/25 Totala 0.61-1.19 ELISA [126]
a. Total: AFB1+ AFB2+ AFG1+ AFG2
b. ND: Not detected

Table 5.

Aflatoxins in other foods of animal origin.


7. Conclusion

AFs are toxic secondary metabolites produced by Aspergillus fungus growing in susceptible agricultural commodities. They can result in major economic losses and can negatively affect animal and human health. This review has sought to summarize the possible AFs contamination in a wide array of agricultural commodities worldwide. AFs contamination can occur both in temperate and tropical regions of the World. Major food commodities affected are cereals, nuts, dried fruit, spices, oil seeds, dried peas and beans and fruit. Regulations for major mycotoxins in commodities and food exist in at least 100 countries, most of which are for aflatoxins, maximum tolerated levels differ greatly among countries [27].

Frequent analytical surveillance program by food control agencies is highly recommended to control the incidence of aflatoxins contamination in food grains to ensure food safety and to protect consumer’s health [27]. Some analytical techniques such as thin-layer chromatography (TLC), high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), two-dimensional thin layer chromatography and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) have been available for the qualitative and quantitative analysis of AFs. Poor separation, unsatisfied accuracy and low sensitivity limit the application of TLC. Although ELISA is a fast and sensitive method for AFs analysis is liquid chromatography combined with fluorescence detection, which has been extensively studied in various food matrices. However, conventional approach by HPLC in a gradient reversed phase mode typically using columns with 6 µm particles often costs a lot of time to get a complete separation of the target compounds and additionally, in order to improve detection limits of AFB1 and AFG1 a tedious pre- or post- column derivatization must be done [10].

The inability to control and at times even predict AF production makes it a unique challenge to food safety. To avoid aflatoxin problem in food grains, farmers should improve the practice of drying seeds to the required moisture content immediately after harvest. They must also develop proper storage structures by spraying fungicides or some other chemicals to reduce Aspergilli and subsequent toxin accumulation on food grains under storage conditions. Although prevention is the best control strategy, it is not always possible to prevent all mycotoxin contamination. Optimal postharvest storage conditions will minimize consumer exposure to AFs, but decontamination procedures may be needed in some cases. One approach to managing the risks associated with AF contamination is use of an integrated system based on the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) approach. This approach involves strategies for prevention, control, good manufacturing practices, and quality control at all stages of production, from the field to the final consumer [25]. Cheap and environmentally sustainable methods that can be applied pre or post-harvest to reduce the contamination of AFs are available. These methods include proper irrigation, choice of genetically resistant crop strains and bio-pesticide management which involves using a non-aflatoxigenic strain of Aspergillus that competitively excludes toxic strains. Other methods include sorting and disposal of visibly moldy or damaged seeds, reducing the bioavailability of aflatoxins using clay and chemo-protection [16].


  1. 1. Bosco F. Mollea C. 2012 Mycotoxins in Food In: Valdez B. (ed) Food Industrial Processes- Methods and Equipment InTech 169 200 Available from (accessed 13 May 2012)
  2. 2. Rustom I. Y. S. 1997 Aflatoxin in food and feed:occurrence, legistlation and inactivation by physical methods Food Chemistry 59 1 57 67
  3. 3. European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Opinion of the scientific panel on contaminants in the food chain on a request from the commission related to the potential increase of consumer health risk by a possible increase of the existing maksimum levels for aflatoxins in almonds, hazelnuts and pistachios and derived products The EFSA Journal 2007 446 1 127
  4. 4. Turner N. W. Subrahmanyam S. Piletsky S. A. Analytical methods for determination of mycotoxins: A review Analytica Chimica Acta 2009 632 168 180
  5. 5. Dors G. C. Caldas S. S. Feddern V. Bemvenuti R. H. Hackbart H. C. S. Souza M. M. Oliveira M. S. Garda-Buffon J. Primel E. G. Badiale-Furlong E. 2011 Aflatoxins: Contamination, Analysis and Control In:. Guevara-González RG. (Ed) Aflatoxins- Biochemistry cand Molcecular Biology InTech 415 438 Available from (accessed 13 May 2012)
  6. 6. Filazi A. Ince S. Temamogullari F. Survey of the occurrence of aflatoxin M1 in cheeses produced by dairy ewe’s milk in Urfa city, Turkey Veterinary Journal of Ankara University 2010 57 3 197 199
  7. 7. Gundinc U. Filazi A. Detection of Aflatoxin M1 Concentrations in UHT Milk Consumed in Turkey markets by ELISA Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences 2009 12 8 653 656
  8. 8. Zaghini A. Martelli G. Roncada P. Simioli M. Rizzi L. Mannanoligosaccharides and Aflatoxin B1 in Feed for Laying Hens: Effects on Egg Quality, Aflatoxins B1 and M1 Residues in Eggs, and Aflatoxin B1 Levels in Liver Poultry Science 2005 84 6 825 832
  9. 9. Shotwell O. L. Goulden M. L. Hesseltine C. W. 1976 Aflatoxin M1. Occurrence in stored and freshly harvested corn Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 24 3 683 684
  10. 10. Huang B. Han Z. Cai Z. Wu Y. Ren Y. Simultaneous determination of aflatoxins B1, B2, G1, G2, M1 and M2 in peanuts and their derivative products by ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry Analytica Chimica Acta 2010 662 1 62 68
  11. 11. Ren Y. Zhang Y. Shao S. Cai Z. Feng L. Pan H. Wang Z. Simultaneous determination of multi-component mycotoxin contaminants in foods and feeds by ultra-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry Journal of Chromatography A 2007 1143 48 64
  12. 12. Quist C. F. Bounous D. I. Kilburn J. V. Nettles V. F. Wyatt R. D. 2000 The Effect of dieteray aflatoxin on wild turkey poults Journal of Wildlife Diseases 36 3 436 444
  13. 13. Jackson L. S. Al-Taher F. Factors Affecting Mycotoxin Production in Fruits In: Barkai-Golan R, Paster N. (Ed) Mycotoxins in Fruits and Vegetables Academic Press is an imprint of Elsevier 2008 75 104
  14. 14. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations/World Health Organization (FAO/WHO) Evaluation of certain veterinary drug residues in food Forty seventh report of the joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) World Health Organization Technical Report Series 1998 876 1 85
  15. 15. Cullen J. M. Ruebner B. H. Hsieh L. S. Hyde D. M. Hsieh D. P. 1987 Carcinogenicity of Dietary Aflatoxin M1 in Male Fischer Rats Compared to Aflatoxin B1 Cancer Research 47 1913 1917
  16. 16. Shuaib F. M. B. Ehiri J. Abdullahi A. Williams J. H. Jolly P. E. Reproductive health effects of aflatoxins: A review of the literature Reproductive Toxicology 2010 29 262 270
  17. 17. Becer U. K. Filazi A. 2010 Aflatoxins, Nitrates And Nitrites Analysis In The Commercial Cat And Dog Foods Fresenius Environmental Bulletin 18 11 2523 2527
  18. 18. Princen L. H. 1983 New oilseed crops on the horizon Economic Botany 37 4 478 492
  19. 19. Fernandez Pinto V. Patriarca A. Locani O. Vaamonde G. Natural co-occurrence of aflatoxin and cyclopiazonic acid in peanuts grown in Argentina Food Additives and Contaminants 2001 18 11 1017 1020
  20. 20. Mphande F. A. Siame B. A. Taylor J. E. 2004 Fungi, Aflatoxins, and Cyclopiazonic Acid Associated with Peanut Retailing in Botswana Journal of Food Protection 67 1 96 102
  21. 21. Fu Z. Huang X. Mina S. Rapid determination of aflatoxins in corn and peanuts Journal of Chromatography A 2008 1209 271 274
  22. 22. Shephard G. S. 2003 Aflatoxin and Food Safety: Recent African Perspectives Journal of Toxicology 22 2-3 267 286
  23. 23. Negedu A. Atawodi S. E. Ameh J. B. Umoh V. J. Tanko H. Y. Economic and Health Perspectives of Mycotoxins: A Review Continental Journal of Biomedical Sciences 2011 5 1 5 26
  24. 24. Kumar K. V. K. Basu M. S. Rajendran T. P. 2008 Mycotoxin research and mycoflora in some commercially important agricultural commodities Crop Protection 27 6 891 905
  25. 25. Reddy K. R. N. Abbas H. K. Abel C. A. Shier W. T. Oliveira C. A. F. Raghavender C. R. 2009 Mycotoxin contamination of commercially important agricultural commodities Toxin Reviews 28 2-3 154 168
  26. 26. Horn B. W. Greene R. L. Dorner J. W. 1995 Effect of corn and peanut cultivation on soil populations of Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus in southwestern Georgia Applied and Environmental Microbiology 61 7 2472 2475
  27. 27. Reddy K. R. N. Raghavender C. R. Salleh B. Reddy C. S. Reddy B. N. Potential of aflatoxin B1 production by Aspergillus flavus strains on commercially important food grains International Journal of Food Science and Technology 2011 161 165
  28. 28. Wang J. Liu X. M. Contamination of aflatoxins in different kinds of foods in China Biomedical and Envirionmental Sciences 2007 20 6 483 487
  29. 29. Offiah N. Adesiyun A. Occurrence of Aflatoxins in Peanuts, Milk, and Animal Feed in Trinidad Journal of Food Protection 2007 70 3 771 775
  30. 30. Freitas V. P. S. Brigido B. M. 1998 Occurrence of aflatoxins B1, B2, G1, and G2 in peanuts and their products marketed in the region of Campinas, Brazil in 1995 and 1996 Food Additives and Contaminants 15 7 807 811
  31. 31. Li F. Q. Li Y. W. Wang Y. R. Luo X. Y. 2009 Natural occurrence of aflatoxins in Chinese peanut butter and sesame paste Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 57 9 3519 3524
  32. 32. Elshafie S. Z. B. El Mubarak A. El -Nagerabi S. A. F. Elshafie A. E. 2011 Aflatoxin B1 Contamination of Traditionally Processed Peanuts Butter for Human Consumption in Sudan Mycopathologia 171 435 439
  33. 33. Set E. Erkmen O. The aflatoxin contamination of ground red pepper and pistachio nuts sold in Turkey Food and Chemical Toxicology 2010 48 2532 2537
  34. 34. Cheraghali A. M. Yazdanpanah H. Doraki N. Abouhossain G. Hassibi M. Ali-abadi S. Aliakbarpoor M. Amirahmadi M. Askarian A. Fallah N. Hashemi T. Jalali M. Kalantari N. Khodadadi E. Maddah B. Mohit R. Mohseny M. Phaghihy Z. Rahmani A. Setoodeh L. Soleimany E. Zamanian F. Incidence of aflatoxins in Iran pistachio nuts Food and Chemical Toxicology 2007 45 5 812 816
  35. 35. Abdel-Hafez A. I. Saber S. M. 1993 Mycoflora and mycotoxin of hazelnut (Corylus avellana L.) and walnut (Juglans regia L.) seeds in Egypt Zentralblatt für Mikrobiologie 148 2 137 147
  36. 36. Aycicek H. Aksoy A. Saygi S. Determination of aflatoxin levels in some dairy and food products which consumed in Ankara, Turkey Food Control 2005 16 263 266
  37. 37. Schade J. E. McGreevy K. King A. D. Mackey B. Fuller G. 1975 Incidence of Aflatoxin in California Almonds Applied and Environmental Microbiology 29 1 48 53
  38. 38. Janati S. S. F. Beheshti H. R. Asadi M. Mihanparast S. Feizy J. Preliminary survey of Aflatoxins and Ochratoxin A in dried fruits from Iran Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 2012 88 3 391 395
  39. 39. Hesseltine C. W. 1974 Natural occurrence of mycotoxin in cereals Mycopathologia 53 1-4 141 153
  40. 40. Krishnamachari K. A. V. R. Bhat R. V. Nagarajan V. Tilak T. B. G. Hepatitis due to aflatoxicosis: An outbreak in Western India Lancet 1975 1 1061 1063
  41. 41. Toteja G. S. Mukheriee A. Diwakar S. Singh P. Saxena B. N. Sinha K. K. Sinha A. K. Kumar N. Nagaraja K. V. Baj G. Krishna Prasad C. A. Vanchinathan S. Roy R. Sarkar S. 2006 Aflatoxin B(1) contamination of parboiled rice samples collected from different states of India: A multi-centre study Food Additive and Contaminant 23 4 411 414
  42. 42. Mazaheri M. Determination of aflatoxins in imported rice to Iran Food and Chemical Toxicology 2009 47 8 2064 2066
  43. 43. Bansal J. Pantazopoulos P. Tam J. Cavlovic P. Kwong K. Turcotte A. M. Lau B. P. Y. Scott P. M. Surveys of rice sold in Canada for aflatoxins, ochratoxin A and fumonisins Food Additives and Contaminants: Part A 2011 28 6 767 774
  44. 44. Fredlund E. Thim A. M. Gidlund A. Brostedt S. Nyberg M. Olsen M. Moulds and mycotoxins in rice from the Swedish retail market Food Additives & Contaminants: Part A 2009 26 4 527 533
  45. 45. Tanaka K. Sago Y. Zheng Y. Nakagawa H. Kushiro M. 2007 Mycotoxins in rice International Journal of Food Microbiology 119 1-2 59 66
  46. 46. Makun H. A. Dutton M. F. Njobeh P. B. Mwanza M. Kabiru A. Y. Natural multi-occurrence of mycotoxins in rice from Niger State, Nigeria Mycotoxin Research 2011 27 97 104
  47. 47. Aydin A. Aksu H. Gunsen U. Mycotoxin levels and incidence of mould in Turkish rice Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 2011 178 1-4 271 280
  48. 48. Ghali R. Khlifa K. H. Ghorbel H. Maaroufi K. Hedili A. 2008 Incidence of aflatoxins, ochratoxin A and zearalenone in tunisian foods Food Control 19 9 921 924
  49. 49. Ghali R. Khlifa K. H. Ghorbel H. Maaroufi K. Hedili A. Aflatoxin determination in commonly consumed foods in Tunisia Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 2010 90 14 2347 2351
  50. 50. Vargas E. A. Preis R. A. Castro L. Silva C. M. G. Co-occurrence of aflatoxins B1, B2, G1, G2, zearalenone and fumonisin B1 in Brazilian corn. Food Additives and Contaminants 2001 18 11 981 986
  51. 51. Zinedine A. Gonzalez-Osnaya L. Soriano J. M. Molto J. C. Idrissi L. Manes J. Presence of aflatoxin M1 in pasteurized milk from Morocco International Journal of Food Microbiology 2007 114 25 29
  52. 52. Ayalew A. Fehrmann H. Lepschy J. Beck R. Abate D. Natural Occurrence of Mycotoxins in Staple Cereals from Ethiopia Mycopathologia 2006 162 1 57 63
  53. 53. Ratnavathi C. V. Komala V. V. Kumar B. S. V. Das I. K. Patil J. V. 2012 Natural occurrence of aflatoxin B1 in sorghum grown in different geographical regions of India Journal of the Science of Food and Agricultural DOI: 10.1002/jsfa.5646
  54. 54. Iqbal Q. Amjad M. Asi M. R. Arino A. Assessment of Hot Peppers for Aflatoxin and Mold Proliferation during Storage Journal of Food Protection 2011 74 5 830 835
  55. 55. Fazekas B. Tar A. Kovacs M. Aflatoxin and ochratoxin A content of spices in Hungary Food Additives and Contaminants 2005 22 9 856 863
  56. 56. Erdogan A. The aflatoxin contamination of some pepper types sold in Turkey Chemosphere 2004 56 321 325
  57. 57. Fufa H. Urga K. Screening of aflatoxins in Shiro and ground red pepper in Addis Ababa Ethiopian Medical Journal 1996 34 243 249
  58. 58. Demircioglu S. Filazi A. Detection of aflatoxin levels in red pepper produced in Turkey Journal of Veterinary Medical Association 2010 81 2 63 66
  59. 59. Elshafie A. E. Al-Rashdi T. A. Al-Bahry S. N. Bakheit C. S. 2002 Fungi and aflatoxins associated with spices in the Sultanate of Oman Mycopathologia 155 155 160
  60. 60. MacDonald S. Castle L. 1996 A UK retail survey of aflatoxins in herbs and spices and their fate during cooking Food Additives and Contaminants 13 121 128
  61. 61. Martins M. L. Martins H. M. Bernardo F. Aflatoxins in spices marketed in Portugal Food Additives and Contaminants 2001 18 4 315 319
  62. 62. Santos L. Marin S. Mateo E. M. Gil-Serna J. Valle-Algarra F. M. Patino B. Ramos A. J. Mycobiota and co-occurrence of mycotoxins in Capsicum powder International Journal of Food Microbiology 2011 151 270 276
  63. 63. Heidtmann-Bemvenuti R. Mendes G. L. Scaglioni P. T. Badiale-Furlong E. Souza-Soares L. A. Biochemistry and metabolism of mycotoxins: A review African Journal of Food Science 2011 5 16 861 869
  64. 64. Kuiper-Goodman T. Uncertainties in the risk assessment of three mycotoxins: aflatoxin, ochratoxin and zearalenone Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology 1990 68 1017 1024
  65. 65. Prandini A. Tansini G. Sigolo S. Filippi L. Laporta M. Piva G. On the occurrence of aflatoxin M1 in milk and dairy products Food and Chemical Toxicology 2009 47 984 991
  66. 66. Mohammadi H. Alizadeh M. Bari M. Khosrowshahi A. Tajik H. 2008 Minimization of aflatoxinM1 content in Iranian white brine cheese International Journal of Dairy Technology 6 2 141 145
  67. 67. Lopez C. Ramos L. Ramadan S. Bulacio L. Perez J. Distribution of aflatoxin M1 in cheese obtained from milk artificially contaminated International Journal of Food Microbiology 2001 211 5
  68. 68. Sengun I. Y. Yaman D. B. Gonul S. A. 2008 Mycotoxins and mould contamination in cheese: a review World Mycotoxin Journal 1 3 291 298
  69. 69. Motawee M. M. McMahon D. J. 2009 Fate of AflatoxinM1 during Manufacture and Storage of Feta Cheese Journal of Food Science 74 5 42 45
  70. 70. Applebaum R. S. Brackett R. E. Wiseman D. W. Marth E. H. 1982 Aflatoxins: toxicity to dairy cattle and occurrence in milk and milk products Journal of Food Protection 45 752 777
  71. 71. Kamkar A. Khaniki G. R. J. Alavi S. A. Occurrence of aflatoxin M1 in raw milk produced in Ardebil of Iran Iranian Journal of Environmental Health Science and Engineering 2011 8 2 123 128
  72. 72. Galvano F. Galofaro V. Ritieni A. Bognanno M. De Angelis A. Galvano G. Survey of the occurrence of aflatoxin M1 in dairy products marketed in Italy: second year of observation Food Additives and Contaminants 2001 18 7 644 646
  73. 73. Roussi V. Govaris A. Varagouli A. Botsoglou N. A. Occurrence of aflatoxin M1 in raw and market milk commercialized in Greece Food Additives and Contaminants 2002 19 9 863 868
  74. 74. Elgerbi A. M. Aidoo K. E. Candlish A. A. G. Tester R. F. 2004 Occurrence of aflatoxin M1 in randomly selected North African milk and cheese samples Food Additives and Contaminants 21 6 592 597
  75. 75. Nachtmann C. Gallina S. Rastelli M. Ferro G. L. Decastelli L. Regional monitoring plan regarding the presence of aflatoxin M1 in pasteurized and UHT milk in Italy Food Control 2007 18 623 629
  76. 76. Torkar G. K. Venust A. The presence of yeast, moulds and aflatoxin M1 in raw milk and cheese in Slovenia Food Control 2008 19 570 577
  77. 77. Nuryono N. Agus A. Wedhastri S. Maryudani Y. B. Setyabudi F. M. C. Böhm J. Razzazi-Fazeli E. 2009 Food Control 20 721 724
  78. 78. Pei S. C. Zhang Y. Y. Eremin S. A. Lee W. J. 2009 Detection of aflatoxin M1 in Milk products from China by ELISA using monoclonal antibodies Food Control 20 1080 1085
  79. 79. Bilandzic N. Vernina I. Solomun B. 2010 Aflatoxin M1 in raw milk in Croatia Food Control 21 1279 1281
  80. 80. Ertas N. Gonulalan Z. Yildirim Y. Karadal F. 2011 A survey of concentration of aflatoxin M1 in dairy products marketed in Turkey Food Control 22 1956 1959
  81. 81. Sani A. M. Nikpooyan H. Determination of aflatoxin M1 in milk by high-performance liquid chromatography in Mashhad (North east of Iran) Toxicology and Industrial Health 2012 DOI: 10.1177/0748233711434954
  82. 82. Sadia A. Jabbar M. A. Deng Y. Hussain E. A. Riffatd S. Naveed S. Arif M. 2012 A survey of aflatoxin M1 in milk and sweets of Punjab, Pakistan Food Control 26 235 240
  83. 83. Hussain I. Anwar J. Munawar M. A. Asi M. R. Variation of levels of aflatoxin M1 in raw milk from different localities in the central areas of Punjab, Pakistan Food Control 2008 19 1126 1129
  84. 84. Ghanem I. Orfi M. 2009 Aflatoxin M1 in raw, pasteurized and powdered milk available in the Syrian market Food Control 20 603 605
  85. 85. Lee J. E. Kwak B. M. Ahn J. H. Jeon T. H. 2009 Occurrence of aflatoxin M1 in raw milk in South Korea using an immunoaffinity column and liquid chromatography Food Control 20 136 138
  86. 86. Martins M. L. Martins H. M. 2000 Aflatoxin M1 in raw and ultra-high temperature-treated milk commercialized in Portugal Food Additives and Contaminants 17 10 871 874
  87. 87. Oveisi M. R. Jannat B. Sadeghi N. Hajimahmoodi M. Nikzad A. Presence of aflatoxin M1 in milk and infant milk products in Tehran, Iran Food Control 2007 18 1216 1218
  88. 88. Rahimi E. Shakerian A. Jafariyan M. Ebrahimi M. Riahi M. Occurrence of aflatoxin M1 in raw, pasteurized and UHT milk commercialized in Esfahan and Shahr-e Kord, Iran Food Sec. 2009 1 317 320
  89. 89. Velasco M. L. R. Delso M. M. C. Escudero D. O. 2003 ELISA and HPLC determination of the occurrence of aflatoxin M1 in raw cow’s milk Food Additives and Contaminants 20 3 276 280
  90. 90. Shundo L. Navas S. A. Lamardo L. C. A. Ruvieri V. Sabino M. Estimate of aflatoxin M1 exposure in milk and occurrence in Brazil Food Control 2009 2009 655 657
  91. 91. Fallah A. A. 2010 Assessment of aflatoxin M1 contamination in pasteurized and UHT milk marketed in central part of Iran Food and Chemical Toxicology 48 988 991
  92. 92. Alborzi S. Pourabbas B. Rashidi M. Astaneh B. 2006 Aflatoxin M1 contamination in pasteurized milk in Shiraz (south of Iran) Food Control 17 582 584
  93. 93. Garrido N. S. Iha M. H. Ortolani M. R. S. Favaro R. M. D. 2003 Occurrence of aflatoxins M1 and M2 in milk commercialized in Ribeira˜ o Preto-SP Brazil Food Additives and Contaminants 20 1 70 73
  94. 94. Lopez C. E. Ramos L. L. Ramadan S. S. Bulacio L. C. 2003 Presence of aflatoxin M1 in milk for human consumption in Argentina Food Control 14 1 31 34
  95. 95. Unusan N. Occurrence of aflatoxin M1 in UHT milk in Turkey Food and Chemical Toxicology 2006 44 1897 1900
  96. 96. Tekinsen K. K. Eken H. S. 2008 Aflatoxin M1 levels in UHT milk and kashar cheese consumed in Turkey Food and Chemical Toxicology 46 3287 3289
  97. 97. Heshmati A. Milani J. M. 2010 Contamination of UHT milk by aflatoxin M1 in Iran Food Control 21 19 22
  98. 98. Gurbay A. Aydın S. Girgin G. Engin A. B. Sahin G. Assessment of aflatoxin M1 levels in milk in Ankara, Turkey Food Control 2006 17 1 4
  99. 99. Nakajima M. Tabata S. Akiyamax H. Itoh Y. Tanakak T. Sunagawa H. Tyonan T. Yoshizawaxx T. Kumaga S. Occurrence of aflatoxin M1 in domestic milk in Japan during the winter season Food Additives and Contaminants 2004 21 5 472 478
  100. 100. Grigoriadou I. K. Eleftheriadou A. Mouratidou A. T. Katikou P. Determination of aflatoxin M1 in ewe’s milk samples and the produced curd and Feta cheese Food Control 2005 16 257 261
  101. 101. Anfossi L. Baggiani C. Giovannoli C. D’Arco G. Passini C. Giraudi G. Occurrence of aflatoxin M1 in Italian cheese: Results of a survey conducted in 2010 and correlation with manufacturing, production season, milking animals, and maturation of cheese Food Control 2012 25 125 130
  102. 102. Rastogi S. Dwivedi P. D. Khanna S. K. Das M. Detection of aflatoxin M1 contamination in milk and infant milk products from Indian markets by ELISA Food Control 2004 15 287 290
  103. 103. Kim E. K. Shon D. H. Ryu D. Park J. W. Hwang H. J. Kim Y. B. Occurrence of aflotoxin M1 in Korean dairy products determined by ELISA and HPLC Food Additives and Contaminants 2000 17 1 59 64
  104. 104. Kamkar A. 2006 A Study on the occurrence of aflatoxin M1 in Iranian Feta cheese Food Control 17 768 775
  105. 105. Elkak A. Atat O. Abbas M. Occurrence of aflatoxin M1 in cheese processed and marketed in Lebanon Food Control 2012 25 140 143
  106. 106. Tavakoli H. R. Riazipour M. Kamkar A. Shaldehi H. R. Nejad A. S. M. Occurrence of aflatoxin M1 in white cheese samples from Tehran, Iran Food Control 2012 23 293 295
  107. 107. Iha M. H. Barbosa C. B. Okada I. A. Trucksess M. W. Occurrence of aflatoxin M1 in dairy products in Brazil Food Control 2011 22 1971 1974
  108. 108. Yaroglu T. Oruc H. H. Tayar M. 2005 Aflatoxin M1 levels in cheese samples from some provinces of Turkey Food Control 16 883 885
  109. 109. Fallah A. A. Jafari T. Fallah A. Rahnama M. Determination of aflatoxin M1 levels in Iranian white and cream cheese Food and Chemical Toxicology 2009 47 1872 1875
  110. 110. Sarımehmetoglu B. Kuplulu O. Celik T. H. Detection of aflatoxin M1 in cheese samples by ELISA Food Control 2004 15 45 49
  111. 111. Kav K. Col R. Tekinsen K. K. Detection of aflatoxin M1 levels by ELISA in white-brined Urfa cheese consumed in Turkey Food Control 2011 22 1883 1886
  112. 112. Tekinsen K. K. Tekinsen O. C. 2005 Aflatoxin M1 in white pickle and Van otlu (herb) cheeses consumed in southeastern Turkey Food Control 16 565 568
  113. 113. Ardic M. Karakaya Y. Atasever M. Adiguzel G. 2009 Aflatoxin M1 levels of Turkish white brined cheese Food Control 20 196 199
  114. 114. Tekinsen K. K. Gurkan U. 2008 Aflatoxin M1 levels in butter and cream cheese consumed in Turkey Food Control 19 27 30
  115. 115. Aydemir Atasever. M. Atasever M. Oztorun K. Urcar S. Determination of aflatoxin M1 level in butter samples consumed in Erzurum, Turkey The Journal of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Kafkas 2010 16 Suppl-A 159 162
  116. 116. Akkaya L. Birdane Y. O. Oguz H. Cemek M. Occurrence of aflatoxın M1 in yogurt samples from Afyonkarahisar, Turkey Bulletin of the Veterinary Institute Pulawy 2006 50 517 519
  117. 117. Martins M. L. Marin H. 2004 Aflatoxin M1 in yoghurts in Portugal International Journal of Food Microbiology 91 315 317
  118. 118. Bintvihok A. Davitiyananda D. Aflatoxins and their metabolites residues in chicken tissues from 5 parts (10 provinces) of Thailand Thai Journal of Health Research 2002 16 1 37 50
  119. 119. Yunus A. W. Razzazi-Fazeli E. Bohm J. 2011 Aflatoxin B1 in Affecting Broiler’s Performance, Immunity, and Gastrointestinal Tract: A Review of History and Contemporary Issues Toxins 3 566 590
  120. 120. Hussain Z. Khan M. Z. Khan A. Javed I. Saleemi M. K. Mahmood S. Asi M. R. Residues of aflatoxin B1 in broiler meat: Effect of age and dietary aflatoxin B1 levels Food and Chemical Toxicology 2010 48 3304 3307
  121. 121. Wolzak A. Pearson A. M. Coleman T. H. Aflatoxin carryover and clearance from tissues of laying hens Food and Chemical Toxicology 1986 24 37 41
  122. 122. Wild C. P. Gong Y. Y. Mycotoxins and human disease: a largely ignored global health issue Carcinogenesis 2010 31 1 71 82
  123. 123. Micco C. Miraglia M. Onori R. Brera C. Mantovani A. Ioppolo A. Stasolla D. Long-term administration of low doses of mycotoxins to poultry. 1. Residues of aflatoxin B1 and its metabolites in broilers and laying hens. Food Additive and Contaminant 1988 5 303 308
  124. 124. Herzallah S. M. Determination of aflatoxins in eggs, milk, meat and meat products using HPLC fluorescent and UV detectors Food Chemistry 2009 114 1141 1146
  125. 125. Hassan A. A. Hassan M. A. El Shafei H. M. El Ahl R. M. H. S. El -Dayem R. H. A. 2011 Detection of Aflatoxigenic Moulds Isolated From Fish and their Products and its Public Health Significance Nature and Science 9 9 106 114
  126. 126. Bahobail A. A. S. Hassan S. A. El -Deeb B. A. 2012 Microbial quality and content aflatoxins of commercially available eggs in Taif, Saudi Arabia African Journal of Microbiology Research 6 13 3337 3342

Written By

Ayhan Filazi and Ufuk Tansel Sireli

Submitted: 04 March 2012 Published: 23 January 2013