Aspergillus flavus has been reported to be one of the most common fungal species in foods. Under conditions of high humidity and moderate temperature, this fungus may synthetize the mycotoxin Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), which is reported to be hepatotoxic, teratogenic, mutagenic and immunosuppressive to human beings and livestock and it is classified as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1 by IARC). AFB1 affects cereals, oilseeds, nuts, spices, legumes, and dried fruits, while Aflatoxin M1 is a metabolite of AFB1 that can occur in milk and milk products. Current control is aimed at controlling fungal growth and AFB1 production in food by eco-friendly, biodegradable and safer alternatives, in contrast to synthetic chemicals that can be toxic to humans and cause adverse environmental effects. Recently, considerable attention has been directed towards natural compounds, such as essential oils (EOs) as a promising approach for controlling AFB1 production in food. The main reason for supporting the application of natural products is the consumer’s preference for natural methods to preserve foods. The aim of the present review is to summarize knowledge of EOs and AFB1 production from the literature.
Part of the book: Aflatoxin B1 Occurrence, Detection and Toxicological Effects