The aflatoxins are a group of chemically similar poisonous, carcinogenic fungal secondary metabolites produced by Aspergillus flavus, A. parasiticus, and A. nomius, which are abundant in warm and humid regions of the world. They are probably the most intensively researched toxins in the world due to their carcinogenic and mutagenic effects. Aflatoxins have also been identified as a potential biological weapon for food and water contamination. The four major aflatoxins commonly isolated from different foods and feed stuffs are AFB1, AF B2, AFG1, and AFG2. Aflatoxin contamination of food and feed has gained global significance as a result of its deleterious effects on human as well as livestock health including gastrointestinal dysfunction, reduced feed utilization, anemia, jaundice, liver damage and immunity suppression. The profitability and marketing of various agricultural products are adversely affected by either contamination of aflatoxins or aflatoxin‐producing fungi. The foods at highest risk of aflatoxin contamination are maize, chilies, peanuts, and cotton seeds. There are various physical, chemical, and natural methods investigated to prevent aflatoxin production and the growth of aflatoxin‐producing fungus in various agricultural products. Here, we describe various natural plant extracts that would be potential source of controlling aflatoxin production in agricultural products.
Part of the book: Aflatoxin