Aflatoxins are a class of highly toxic carcinogenic mycotoxins by food contaminant Aspergillus fungi: Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus. Aflatoxins are classified into four compounds: aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), aflatoxin B2 (AFB2), aflatoxin G1 (AFG1), and aflatoxin G2 (AFG2), while AFB1 is the most potent carcinogenic agent associated with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Aspergillus fungi is ubiquitously found in the soil and contaminates the crops such as maize, groundnuts, rice, and so on. Prevention of aflatoxin contamination, detection and degradation of Aspergillus fungi contamination, and the concentration of AFB1 in the foodstuffs are of the primary task to prevent health problems from aflatoxin. Here, the different ways are summarized to degrade or decontaminate the aflatoxins available with the foods. Traditional decontamination of aflatoxin includes physical (heat and irradiation), biological, and chemical treatments. However, these traditional aflatoxin decontamination technologies are not enough to remove the aflatoxin from the foods. Recently, some novel processing approached have been explored to achieve full degradation of the aflatoxin available with the foodstuffs, like microwave heating, gamma and electron beam irradiation, pulsed light, electrolyzed water, cold plasma, and so on. Decontamination mechanism, degradation efficiency, advantages, and limitations of these new technologies shall be discussed herein.
Part of the book: Aflatoxin B1 Occurrence, Detection and Toxicological Effects